Hunter New England Local Health District (HNE LHD) management has been put on notice for the second time in less than a wee over serious workload concerns held by Tamworth Base Hospital Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA).
At a meeting of the Branch on Monday, members discussed workload issues and staffing capacity in the hospital’s emergency department and unanimously passed a second resolution to again highlight their concerns.
Branch members resolved that the current staffing capacity and arrangement of one nurse to cover the resuscitation and triage roles is having an unreasonable flow on impact on workloads.
The Branch has reiterated to HNE LHD management that emergency department staff will have no choice but to refuse to transfer to the new premises next week, unless the workload issue is urgently addressed.
General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said the branch members were understandably very worried about the situation and a move into the new site would result in increased patient safety risks for the emergency department and nursing staff.
“Our branch members are very aware that the new emergency department is much larger and will become increasingly difficult for nursing staff, under the current arrangements, to cover adequately,” Mr Holmes said.
“The branch believes that presentations to the new emergency department have the potential to increase by up 10-15 per cent.
“The branch agreed to HNE LHD management’s request to review activity data for the emergency department, but what they don’t want is the hospital management dragging its heels or failing to recognise the severity of the situation and risks to safe patient care.”
The Branch is seeking a response by HNE LHD management by close of business on Wednesday 15 July and indicated it would seek intervention by the Ministry of Health to assist in the resolution of the staffing dispute if necessary.
Download this media release: Staffing concerns ongoing inside Tamworth ED
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