NURSES MEETING | Bigge Park meeting to highlight nurse-to-patient ratios

Liverpool nurses meet at Bigge Park to highlight nurse-to-patient ratios

OPINION:

HEIDI McNAMARA, Liverpool Branch Secretary, NSW Nurses & Midwives Association

The Liverpool branch of the NSW Nurses & Midwives Association held a public meeting last Friday at BiggePark to plead for safer nurse-to-patient ratios.

Liverpool Labor MP PaulLynch and Holsworthy Labor candidate and Liverpool councillor CharishmaKaliyanda were there in support.

Health Minister BradHazzard was invited to meet with the association. There were hundreds of signed letters from concerned members for him but he did not attend.

Mr Lynch and Ms Kaliyanda signed placards to re-affirm their commitment to support nurse-to-patient ratios.

NSW Labor has committed to mandated shift-by-shift nurse-to-patient ratios in medical and surgical wards (1:4), emergency departments and paediatric wards (1:3), postnatal wards 1 midwife to 3 mums with babies, and now in mental-health inpatient units.

NSW Liberals have not responded to pleas from nurses and midwives for mandated shift-by-shift nurse-to-patient ratios.

They have announced 5000 nurses and midwives for NSW over four years with 502 allocated to this local health district, totalling 125 nurses/midwives per year. There are six hospitals in our district, meaning about 21 nurses/midwives per year per hospital if calculated per facility.

And 5000 may appear big but 21 nurses/midwives per year will not be sufficient in our ever-expanding south-west hospitals. Bear in mind, allocation of these positions would be determined by the local health district.

The association has campaigned for several years to extend and improve nurse-to-patient ratios to provide safer patient care.

Now, close to a state election we have a promise of 5000 nurses over four years.

The only way to solve the staffing crisis in NSW public hospitals is to introduce ratios into our award.

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