NSW Nurses and Midwives Association calls on state government to improve nurse to patient ratios

Jill Telfer

Jill Telfer

TAMWORTH nurses are rallying to boost patient ratios at home and across the state.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NMA) is calling on the government to deliver an expansion of the state’s current nurse to patient ratios system.

NSW NMA Tamworth branch secretary Jill Telfer said “there’s lots studies that show better nurse to patient ratios do save lives”.

“We had a win in 2011 to have ratios embedded in to the award,” Ms Telfer said.

“Locally, we fought quite hard to get extra hours.

“The success was due to the community of Tamworth getting behind us.”

But it hasn’t gone far enough according to Ms Telfer and the association who have called for ratios to be scaled to the needs in each unit.

“Hunter New England Health has a catchphrase ‘every patient, every time’,” Ms Telfer said.

“You’ve got to have the staff there to give the best patient care.”

NMA general secretary Brett Holmes said NSW was lagging behind other states with current ratios.

“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,” Mr Holmes said.

The general secretary said, despite protests in 2011 to secure ratios, a number of “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,” he said.

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