Staff to patient ratios were again the subject of a rally held by members of the Wyong Hospital branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association on December 6.
Branch members rallied outside of Wyong Hospital to voice their concerns about patient care and safety at the hospital, due to such drastic patient to nurse ratios. Staff from the Geriatric Rehabilitation Unit told the Wyong Chronicle that they were unable to keep up with demand, and that some nurses were “going home in tears” at the end of every shift, due to the pressure of their daunting workload.
With the announcement of the $200m redevelopment of the hospital, the Association and the Health Services Union are calling for staffing ratios to be addressed. At Wyong Hospital, the Association wants to see at least one nurse per four patients, one nurse per three patients in the Emergency Department, and a nurse in charge of all Geriatric Unit shifts with no patients.
In a media statement, Central Coast Local Health District CEO, Dr Andrew Montague, said the District had been steadily increasing the region’s health workforce over the past six years.
“Between June, 2012, and June, 2018, the District has increased its workforce by an additional 18 per cent, including 353 more nurses,” Dr Montague said. “The Geriatric Unit at Wyong often provides more staffing than the Award minimum, and that Award allows local Nursing Unit Managers the flexibility to allocate nursing hours in a way that matches busy times and patient needs,” he added.
Source: Press conference, Dec 6 Wyong Hospital Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association