Mr Jones’ comments make it clear that he does not understand, or has been deliberately misinformed regarding the depth of concern regarding patient safety experienced by the Byron Central Hospital nursing staff.
To fob off their concern as ‘heightened emotions and transition issues’ is both patronising and condescending.
The vast majority of the nursing staff are senior practitioners with a wealth of collective, multi-skilled nursing experience.
In fact, the concerns regarding staffing have bonded the nursing staff from both hospitals as they work together to provide the best care possible in challenging circumstances.
Not to listen to their very real concerns is, at the least, foolish and the most, dangerous.
These are the nursing staff who have provided excellent care for the patients of Byron Shire and beyond for many years.
To blithely discount their considered opinion and offer them counselling instead of the additional nursing staff so badly needed, at least until it can be assessed whether this is just a ‘winter surge’ of patients, or whether, in the end, if the In Patient Unit occupancy remains above the approximately 22 funded beds, there is a need to increase the permanent staff, smacks off political expediency and indicates a blatant disregard for the nursing staff, but more importantly, for the communities they serve with such dedication.
The population of the Byron Shire deserves better.
Liz McCall and Shauna Boyle, on behalf of the combined NSWNMA branches