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MEDIA RELEASE


Wednesday 8 March 2017
  
 
Mt Gambier Hospital Review: Country Health SA response inadequate

The response of Country Health SA (CHSA) to recommendations for change in medical and nursing/midwifery staffing at Mt Gambier & Districts Hospital is inadequate and will continue to place pressure on nurses and midwives in delivering appropriate care to patients.

A number of the recommendations made by the reviewers are consistent with claims made by the ANMF (SA Branch) last year for improved staffing in the hospital’s emergency department and rejected by CHSA and the Department of Health at that time.

“As a result we are deeply concerned by the response of CHSA when they say things such as that they  will give further consideration to nurse practitioner staffing in 6 months time,  given  that this issue has been the source of contention for several years.  The time for action, as acknowledged by the reviewers in their recommendations, is now! ” said Mr Bonner, Director, Operations & Strategy with ANMF (SA Branch).

“We are also concerned by the response to the need for Emergency trained nurse coordinators (out of hours) being reframed by CHSA as providing additional training to existing hospital coordinators who may not have received training as specialist ED nurses.

"Once again this language could create models of nursing practice that do not reflect compliance with professional standards and the demands of the busy emergency department in Mt Gambier,” said  Mr Bonner.

Movement of patients out of the ED and into other areas of the hospital is also problematic given the continuing understaffing of ward areas.  Currently the Mt Gambier Hospital and CHSA are the subject of prosecution by the ANMF (SA Branch) for ongoing significant understaffing of ward areas at Mt Gambier Hospital. 

“Unless the ward areas are adequately staffed by nurses and midwives who have the required skills and experience, and not by the use of casual and contract staff which places increased risks to effective continuity of care, strategies to move people out of the ED will not work,” he added.

“We welcome the decision to increase Triage staffing at the hospital to levels claimed by ANMF (SA Branch) over several years.  However, even here CHSA have not, in their response, committed to providing the increased role for the 12 hours each day that was recommended by the reviewers. 

"ANMF (SA Branch) will seek urgent discussions with CHSA given that we were not provided with an opportunity to discuss the report or the response ahead of its public release today.  This continuing failure to engage with us as a significant representative of nursing and midwifery staff at the hospital is disappointing and disrespectful.

"Following discussions with CHSA we will then be in a position to meet with members at the hospital in the coming weeks to develop a more fulsome response to the final plans to address the serious staffing issues at Mt Gambier Hospital.”
 
Media Contact:
For more information contact Rob Bonner, Director, Operations & Strategy, ANMF (SA Branch) on Tel. 0402 795 688.

 






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Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) · 191 Torrens Road, Ridleyton · Adelaide, SA 5008 · Australia