The push for improved nurse-to-patient ratios throughout the state’s public hospitals, particularly for emergency departments, is ramping up in Western 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 Westmead Hospital Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) have turned their attention to local leaders.
A group of off-duty branch members are meetings 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.
The branch members intend to outline how only selected wards of metropolitan hospitals currently have ratios of one nurse to four patients, excluding emergency departments, and why extended ratios are important.
Darius Altman, Member Organiser for the NSWNMA, said international research shows patients have improved health outcomes when their nursing care is increased.
“We want to make sure that our patients receive the best possible care to deliver better health outcomes into the future – that’s what nursing is all about,” Mr Altman said.
“Extending nurse-to-patient ratios into emergency departments is vital for the delivery of safe patient care and the people of Western Sydney deserve that level of care in their public hospitals.
“Nurses and midwives are also the first to recognise the adverse flow-on impact any form of Medicare co-payment would have on already stretched emergency departments.
“Our members are passionate advocates for safe patient care and will continue to raise awareness of the need for improved ratios with the community, with local leaders and decision-makers to ensure the message is heard loud and clear by the NSW Government.”
Download this media release: Nurses seek support for improved ratios in Western Sydney EDs
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