Desperate need for safe staffing at Bega
Fed up with poor staffing and excessive overtime, nurses and midwives gathered outside South East Regional Hospital to call on the NSW government to implement nurse-to-patient ratios.
NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) members plan to highlight growing concerns over short staffing in several hospital wards.
NSWNMA Councillor and South East Regional Hospital Branch Delegate, Di Lang, said nurses were burning out trying to cover the rostering shortfalls and safe patient care was an ongoing issue.
“Our critical care areas, like emergency, maternity and ICU, are being managed with additional agency staff, but a growing number of shifts in our medical and surgical wards are running short-staffed or on the goodwill of nurses to work overtime,” said Ms Lang.
“Additional beds have opened in the medical and surgical wards over recent weeks, but no extra nursing staff have been allocated to these wards.
“Local nurses are flat out trying to keep up with the demand, but the constant reliance on overtime to cover staffing shortfalls is taking a toll.
“It’s not safe for patients. Nurses are burning out trying to give patients the care needed, and increased sick leave is being taken.
“We desperately need shift-by-shift ratios to ensure our hospital can provide safe patient care. Victoria and Queensland have mandated nurse-to-patient ratios, it’s time for NSW to hurry up.”
NSWNMA South East Regional Hospital Branch members hope to raise community awareness of the unsafe staffing concerns and encourage residents to call on the NSW government to introduce nurse-to-patient ratios.