Nurses’ overwhelming support for safe nurse/patient ratios

General Secretary of the NSW Nurses’ and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA), Brett Holmes today said he is not surprised by the overwhelming support shown by nurses and midwives for the Association’s campaign to extend and improve safe nurse to patient ratios.

“NSWNMA branches all over the state have voted this week on whether to endorse our renewed 2014 claim on the O’Farrell Government.  The tally is now in. Out of 206 public health system NSWNMA branches voting, 205 voted to pursue this claim,” Mr Holmes said.

“We are seeking only a bare cost of living pay increase of 2.5 per cent for 2014. Much more important to our members is the ability to provide safer patient care. To do that, they need safe, mandated nurse/patient ratios in all our hospitals and community health services.

“The instruction members have this week overwhelmingly given to their Association is to win these ratios to help all nurses and midwives deliver safer patient care in NSW public hospitals and community health settings by any means necessary.  That’s how much they care about their patients and the quality of care they can give them. It also means that patients right across NSW should benefit from the same level of nursing care currently mandated for our big city hospitals. Nursing care should not be determined by postcodes.

“On their behalf we now put Premier O’Farrell and his Health Minister Jillian Skinner on notice.

“Nurses will fight to win these ratios with everything they have because they know it is the difference between being able to care for patients properly, professionally and safely or not being able to do so.   And that’s the reason our members chose nursing and midwifery as their professions in the first place – to care for people.

“The NSW Government may put budget before safe patient care, but nurses and midwives will be fulfilling their professional obligation to advocate and deliver safer patient care. Ultimately the people of NSW will have to make a judgement about their own need for a safer public health system at the ballot box.

“We will campaign from now until the State election next year unless the Government agrees to guarantee safe ratios.  Without them nurses are worked to breaking point and patients suffer from inadequate care,” Mr Holmes said.

Download the NSWNMA media release 140411 Overwhelming vote for ratios.

Watch Brett Holmes discuss the upcoming campaign.

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