Nurses seek improved ratios for Bankstown

The push for improved nurse-to-patient ratios throughout the state’s public hospitals, particularly for emergency departments, is ramping up across Sydney.

As part of efforts to achieve increased nurse-to-patient ratios of one nurse to three patients within emergency departments (1:3 in ED), members of Bankstown Hospital Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) have turned their attention to local leaders.

Branch members are meeting with local MPs and candidates this week to discuss the issue of mandated staffing, specifically, the need for extended ratios within specialty units in public hospitals.

A group of branch members met with East Hills MP, Glenn Brooks, during their lunch break on Tuesday and outlined how only selected wards of metropolitan hospitals currently have ratios of one nurse to four patients, excluding emergency departments, and why extended ratios were important.

Katrina Lee, Member Organiser for the NSWNMA, said international research clearly indicates patients have better health outcomes when their nursing care is increased.

“We want to make sure all patients receive the best possible care to deliver improved health outcomes into the future – that is what nurses do,” Ms Lee said.

“Introducing mandated nurse-to-patient ratios into emergency departments is vital for the delivery of safe patient care and the people of Bankstown deserve that level of care in their public hospital.

“As advocates for safe patient care, nurses and midwives are the first to highlight the negative impact any form of Medicare co-payment would have on our already stretched emergency departments.

“Our members will continue to raise awareness about the need for improved ratios with the local community and decision-makers to ensure the message is received loud and clear by the NSW Government.”