Nurses and midwives gathered in their own time outside Wagga Wagga Base Hospital this afternoon (Wednesday 11 April) to highlight the pressures they are under, as a result of understaffing, increased workloads and poor skill mix issues across the facility.
As part of a statewide push for more a transparent nurse-to-patient Ratio rostering system, members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Wagga Wagga Hospital Branch will discuss how the current system has hindered the safe care provided to local patients.
NSWNMA Organiser, Zoe-Anne Guinea, said the situation had become untenable, particularly with nursing staff constantly pressured to work overtime and part-time staff rostered extra shifts to cover shortfalls.
“Short staffing is a major issue across the state, but here at Wagga Wagga it’s been compounded by the regular opening of unfunded beds in a number of the specialty units,” said Ms Guinea.
“These are extra beds that are supposed to be used periodically when demand increases, yet we know many surge beds are constantly opened despite the Local Health District not allocating enough nursing staff to cover them safely. It’s unsafe for patients and it’s unsafe for staff.”
Wagga Wagga Branch members said they were fed up with the state government’s inaction towards improving nurse-to-patient Ratios or adequately addressing growing demand on the public health system.
Branch members took the opportunity to call on the Berejiklian Government to put Wagga Wagga Base Hospital patients first and commit to a safe, more accountable nurse-to-patient Ratios system.