Nurse numbers cut at Gosford
Central Coast Local Health District managers have enforced cuts to nurse numbers at Gosford Hospital, the area’s major health facility.
A medical ward has lost a key clinical support position and weekend nursing shifts have been cut in the cardiology ward.
The hospital has also lost dedicated staffing for four maternity beds, reducing the midwives on shift to equal an average of 24 beds, despite 30 or more beds being in use on a daily basis.
A midwifery shift has been removed in the morning and the team leader now has a patient load. A mothercraft position has also been deleted.
Gosford Hospital is the only facility providing birthing and maternity care for the entire Central Coast, following the indefinite closure of the maternity ward at Wyong Hospital.
In the cardiology ward, J8, nursing shifts have been removed permanently to reduce the district’s budget, despite an increase in patient acuity and occasions of care.
The union is trying to get the cardiology cuts reversed through the hospital’s reasonable workloads committee.
Members of the NSWNMA’s Gosford Hospital branch told NBN TV that management is cutting staff simply to make budget savings.
Branch President, Meg Pendrick, said members are fed up with being expected to do so much more for less, especially in light of the Berejiklian Government’s wage freeze.
“We are routinely being asked to go above and beyond and take on extra shifts to meet the increased demand,” she said.
“Our conditions are exhausting and when you’re not compensated with fair pay, then it does make you wonder why. And our concern is, what is going to happen in coming years? Who will be attracted to this profession?”
NSWNMA branch steward and RN Candice McCartney said the situation was the worst she had seen in 20 years.
“We have nurses crying on shifts because it’s just so hard. The patients aren’t getting the care. We can’t give showers; we can’t do personal hygiene.”