Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) in Taree are celebrating an important victory, following moves by Hunter New England Local Health District (HNE Health) to reverse its decision to relocate a local dialysis centre.
Local nurses backed a community-run campaign calling for the Nita Reed Community Dialysis Centre to remain open in Taree rather than moving the specialty equipment and associated renal services to Foster Private Hospital.
General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said he was pleased that HNE Health management had the decency to admit it made a mistake and recognised the community anguish surrounding its relocation plan.
“The chief executive of HNE Health has spoken directly to patients, doctors, nursing staff and community members to concede management had failed to adequately consult with all affected stakeholders,” Mr Holmes said.
“Management must now do the right thing by the residents of Taree and the wider Manning Valley community and continue to support the local dialysis centre with adequate resources.”
Patients, doctors, nursing staff and community members were advised this week that HNE Health management will continue to operate the Nita Reed Community Dialysis Centre at its current location.
NSWNMA member, Anne Parish, said HNE Health needed to provide certainty to local residents and outline a long-term plan for the provision of renal dialysis services in Taree.
“As a member of the NSWNMA, I support the rights of patients to have appropriate access to local health care services to meet their current and future needs,” Ms Parish said.
“I supported the legitimate concerns patients raised regarding the proposed closure of the Nita Reed Community Dialysis Centre.
“I now support the decision by HNE Health to keep the Nita Reed Community Dialysis Centre open and look forward to HNE Health engaging all key stakeholders, including the NSWNMA, to design a solution that fulfils the health needs of Greater Manning, Great Lakes and Gloucester districts without creating disadvantage to any area.”
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