Patient safety fears inside Wyong Hospital ED

Nurses and midwives from Wyong Hospital will hold a lunchtime rally tomorrow to call for an urgent increase in emergency department nursing staff.

Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Wyong Hospital branch fear current staffing levels are inadequate to meet demand and are putting patients’ safety at risk.

NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary, Judith Kiejda, said the latest hospital data shows a significant rise in number of patients presenting to the emergency department for treatment, yet staffing hasn’t improved.

“Nurses in the emergency department at Wyong Hospital are being run off their feet and the hospital’s own data shows there’s been a 12 per cent jump in presentations in the last quarter, compared to the same period last year,” said Ms Kiejda.

“Our members are telling us they are exhausted. They are burning themselves out while they try desperately to maintain a high standard of care for the local community.

“This issue isn’t new. Members of the branch have been raising concerns directly with Central Coast Local Health District for months, yet the widespread staffing issues remain.

“Nursing staff are constantly working extra shifts or overtime to help meet demand. Skill mix continues to be an issue at Wyong, with unexpected leave being replaced by less experienced nurses, or not even replaced.”

Wyong Hospital branch members are calling on the Local Health District to immediately enhance nurse staffing levels in the emergency department’s resuscitation and acute areas, as well as in triage and primary care.

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