Royal Prince Alfred Hospital nurses and midwives walk out
Nurses and midwives at one of Sydney’s largest hospitals have walked off the job this afternoon in a two hour stop work action, frustrated their ongoing calls for safe staffing have been ignored by the NSW government.
NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Branch members voted in favour of the strike action to express their frustration at the many unresolved workplace issues and called on the NSW government to implement safe nurse-to-patient ratios.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said today’s action adds to the ever-growing number of members taking a stand for patient safety, and comes as a result of the desperate situation nurses and midwives are experiencing.
“Our members never take strike action lightly. In fact, many would not have experienced it in their working lives,” said Mr Holmes.
“Nurses and midwives at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital tell us they are under enormous pressures every day. Excessive workloads are affecting their psychological and physical well-being, leading to high levels of staff turnover and burnout.
“Unfilled vacant positions has resulted in chronic understaffing in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which is forcing many nurses to work an excessive amount of overtime. It’s a recipe for disaster when you’re dealing with critically unwell patients.
“We are also seeing more and more incidents of extreme aggression with not enough real-time support. The current situation is dangerous for staff and patients, and it’s just not good enough.
“They are working beyond what should be expected of any professional nurse or midwife.
“We need mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in our hospitals, like Queensland and Victoria. The NSW government’s current preferred staffing model is outdated, unsafe and frequently fails to deliver the right number of nurses needed on every shift.”
In recent weeks, thousands of nurses and midwives have walked off the job, closed beds or rallied at more than 30 public health sites across the state, highlighting the desperate need for safe staffing.
To date, the NSW government has refused to negotiate with the NSWNMA on introducing nurse-to-patient ratios.