Health bosses respond to patient welfare concerns
Thursday 11.20am: THE Northern NSW Local Health District has refuted claims patient care is being compromised at Lismore Base Hospital after staff expressed frustration on being pushed to "breaking point" and placed work bans on the two new wards to be opened.
Chief Executive, Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD), Wayne Jones said: "Staff who have already moved into new environments have welcomed the opportunity to work in the new units, and patients have praised the upgraded facilities".
"Northern NSW Local Health District continually reviews staffing levels and allocates staff according to patient activity," he said.
He said as part of the $320 million redevelopment, additional staff have been recruited, including cleaners, wardspeople and Health and Security Assistants (HSAs).
Wednesday 9.20am: THE Health Services Union is calling for at least 13 extra staff members for Lismore Base Hospital after frustrated staff placed work bans.
HSU NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes said hospital workers will continue to service all opened wards, but will not participate in opening the next two wards until the government genuinely consults on staffing levels.
"It's pointless to invest millions in new hospital facilities if those facilities are not adequately staffed," Mr Hayes said.
"The redeveloped Lismore Base Hospital should be a wonderful community asset, but already it has been plagued by problems caused by under-staffing and under-resourcing.
"The new redevelopment has stretched our members to breaking point with workload issues."
He said workers are concerned the excessive workload could lead to injuries, and the level of care provided to patients is compromised.
HSU members are calling for the recruitment of:
- 3 additional full-time security staff;
- 3 additional full-time Health and Security Assistants (HSAs);
- 2.5 additional full-time wardspeople;
- 1 full-time X-ray operators in the Emergency Department;
- a review of staffing levels in the kitchen.
The Northern Star has put in a call to the health district for a comment on these issues.