The Health Services Union says a lack of security staff forced a lock-down at Kyogle Memorial Hospital on Sunday.
It was the fourth time in the past month.
HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes has called on the management of the hospital to restore the former security guard arrangements to ensure no further lock-downs take place.
‘When Kyogle Memorial Hospital management made changes to staff roles and rosters in April, they claimed the changes would improve the level of security,’ Mr Hayes said.
‘It is abundantly clear now that the changed rostering arrangements have failed, and both staff and patients are being left without any security at vital times.
‘Repeatedly putting into the hospital in to lockdown whenever security staff cannot be rostered on is simply unsustainable.’
Mr Hayes said the changed staff roles also meant security staff who previously undertook cleaning roles are now being required to assist with patients.
‘This means that a worker who may be helping patient at risk of a fall could simultaneously get an urgent duress call – putting them in a catch-22 situation.
‘It’s time that Kyogle Memorial Hospital management ended this silly rostering experiment and restored the former security arrangements.’