Tamworth nurses and midwives take staffing concerns to the people

A community forum will be held in Tamworth this Thursday night to raise public awareness about critical staffing issues at Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital.

Despite months of negotiations and two conciliations before the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW (IRC), Tamworth Hospital Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) maintains that management is ignoring serious workloads issues.

Assistant General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Judith Kiejda, said the Branch was determined to ensure members of the Tamworth community and surrounding areas were aware of the significant implications for safe patient care.

“Our members are exhausted and angry with Hunter New England Local Health District (HNE LHD) for failing to address these longstanding workloads issues in the emergency and maternity departments,” Ms Kiejda said.

“HNE LHD is deliberately abrogating its duty of care to patients at Tamworth Hospital and failing to ensure a safe work environment for its nurses and midwives.

“These issues were present well before the transfer into the new building – they are not a result of ‘teething problems’ in the new facilities, as local management would have people believe.

“The evidence clearly indicates there are nursing staff shortages on night shift in the emergency department and the recommendations of the IRC confirm this. The staffing data also demonstrates there are major concerns with the way HNE LHD management is calculating midwifery staff for the maternity unit.”

“It’s extremely disappointing for the nurses and midwives involved and of great concern to the Tamworth community, that the delivery of safe patient care in their local health service is not being prioritised.

Ms Kiejda encouraged Tamworth residents to attend Thursday night’s forum to hear firsthand from nurses and midwives, as well as other local representatives who have expressed concern at the staffing situation and HNE LHD’s failure to address the ongoing issues.

Download this media release: Tamworth nurses and midwives take staffing concerns to the people

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