Nurses welcome NSW Labor’s commitment to ratios

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) welcome NSW Labor’s support for staff to patient ratios for all public health workers and their commitment to address staffing levels for aged care workers.

The NSW Labor State Conference over the weekend voted in favour of a number of resolutions supporting safer staffing levels for health workers.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said the NSW Labor Party has made the right decision to back nurses and midwives who have campaigned tirelessly for ratios over several years.

“By committing to support ratios, the NSW Labor Party has shown nurses, midwives and aged care workers the respect they deserve.

“NSW public hospitals are facing more patient admissions without enough staffing to meet the demand.

“Delivering better, more transparent ratios across the state will guarantee there are enough nurses and midwives to give patients the best possible care.

“The NSW Labor Party’s support of ratios will help to put pressure on the State Government which has neglected the issue for too long.

“We would like the NSW Government to come to the table and show us they are committed to safe patient care. And the best way to guarantee patient safety is better, more transparent ratios.”

Prior to the 2011 election, NSWNMA members successfully campaigned for ratios to be introduced into selected wards. Since then, the NSW Liberal-National Government has resisted calls for improved ratios and is risking patient safety.

“Disgracefully, the State Government has ignored the need for better, more transparent ratios for seven years. By backing ratios today, NSW Labor has recognised the vital role nurses, midwives and aged care workers play in the delivery of safe patient care,” Mr Holmes said.

“Nurses and midwives are angry at this State Government’s inaction and they’ve hit a breaking point. How much longer do nurses have to wait before their pleas are listened to?

Independent international research confirms nurse-to-patient ratios are an effective staffing model for safe patient care and increased nursing care leads to better health outcomes for patients.

“We cannot reiterate the importance of nurse-to-patient ratios enough. Better, more transparent ratios in NSW will provide security to patients throughout the public health system and prevent future governments from undoing the hard-fought work of our members.”

“Following yesterday’s commitment by NSW Labor, we continue to call on the State Liberal-National Government to consult with the NSWNMA to secure safe patient care through improved and expanded nurse-to-patient ratios.

“Guaranteeing patient safety is too important to ignore and we will continue campaigning for safer staffing levels.”

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