Hospital staff rally to boost critical nurse to patient ratio
COFFS nurses joined forces and called out to the State Government to help deliver safe patient care by boosting the nurse to patient ratios.
Last night hundreds of NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association delegates passed a unanimous resolution calling on the government to deliver an expansion on the number of nurses and midwives, to bring NSW in line with Queensland and Victoria.
Brett Holmes, general secretary of the NSWNMA, said after six years of turning nurses and midwives away on this issue, it was time for the NSW Government to act and put patient safety first.
"Despite boasting the strongest budget and economic growth outpacing the rest of Australia, our state is now lagging behind Victoria and Queensland in the delivery of safe patient care," Mr Holmes said.
"Victoria and Queensland have committed to minimum nurse to patient ratios in their public health system awards and preserved these in legislation, ensuring public patients receive the best care possible.
"It took strike action and bed closures in 2011 to get the NSW government to listen to us and secure ratios initially, however there are still many public hospitals throughout NSW that don't have them.
"It's also critical for ratios to be introduced into speciality areas such as emergency departments, intensive care and high dependency units, paediatrics, neonatal intensive care units, community and community mental health sectors.
"The evidence is clear - ratios save lives and make good economic sense. The government can afford to do this.
"It's time the government listened to front line nurses and midwives and genuinely discussed improvements to staffing levels."
Mr Holmes said the NSWNMA would continue to lobby with the State Government as both parties enter negotiations regarding public hospital nurse and widwives' pay and conditions.