Western NSW nurses and midwives rally for ratios support

Nurses and midwives from across Western NSW have gathered in their own time today, to rally over short staffing issues and the need for safe nurse-to-patient ratios.

After repeatedly raising workloads concerns, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) members at several Health Services and Multi-Purpose Services sought community support for minimum and enforceable staffing ratios to help stem the volume of clinicians leaving.

A recent review of full-time equivalent nursing vacancies which have not been permanently filled, highlights some of the widespread shortages across Western NSW:

Health Service / Multipurpose Service: Full-time vacancies, not permanently filled: Hours per week of nursing care short:
Blayney Hospital 4.45 FTE positions 169 hours
Grenfell MPS 5.21 FTE positions 197.98 hours
Dunedoo MPS 7.95 FTE positions 302.1 hours
Lightning Ridge MPS 11.89 FTE positions 451.82 hours

NSWNMA members described how the loss of experienced nurses and midwives has put considerable strain on an already stretched health system.

Every mainland state in Australia has responded to the staffing demand by committing to nurse-to-patient ratios, except NSW. A staffing ratio would ensure the right number of nurses or midwives are available per shift to provide safe patient care.

Desperate for staffing improvements, NSWNMA members also called on all election candidates to support the introduction of a safe nursing and midwifery ratio system on every shift, in every hospital in NSW.

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