Perrotet is culpable for ‘Let it rip’
As an emergency nurse, I was convinced we would have been pretty prepared and ready to “open up” in December.
It was not like the government didn’t have two years to plan for it, and we have seen the massive impacts of COVID-19 across other countries’ health systems. How were we not able to prevent this?
Premier Perrottet’s “Let It Rip” strategy was a massive failure and an act of neglect against the people of NSW and the NSW health system.
To defy and dismiss health advice regarding masks just weeks before Christmas must be considered criminal. In the last weeks of December and first week of January, our unit lost one out of five nurses to COVID, and within a matter of days we had huge skilled staffing shortages in Emergency.
It was correctly predicted that we would see close to 180–200 presentations a day over this period – our normal is about 120 – but to try to handle that amount of extra patients with casuals, unorientated staff and working short in the highest acuity unit in the hospital was extremely exhausting.
COVID has made everything so much harder. COVID-positive patients with dementia and delirium coming from nursing homes into our ED are difficult to manage. We have had orthopaedic patients with serious lacerations have treatment or operations delayed for hours because they were COVID-positive.
Our bed block has become overwhelming due to COVID – and that’s not because of patients infected; it’s because staff are. Large parts of the hospital cannot open beds due to unsafe staffing levels. A “capacity crisis” is called every day but nothing changes. On most morning shifts, we are lucky to be allocated one bed in the entire hospital after people have been stuck in ED for over 60 hours.
ED overcrowding kills. I am sick of it because it is preventable.
The failures to predict, or just act on the idea that people would swamp testing centres immediately after letting COVID run free in the community, just shows incompetence. I feel sympathy for my managers for not being given resources to fend off this tide of admissions. What a nightmare!
The staff on the floor have the solutions to this mess, and we should be respected and listened to. Premier Perrottet needs to go. #letitripfailed.
Ben Landsdowne, RN