A hospital workers union has called on management of the Lismore Base Hospital to ensure new wards are properly staffed before they are opened.
Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said workers had been ignored in the rush to open new wards and facilities at the redeveloped hospital.
Mr Hayes said workers were told to pose for promotional photos earlier this week of the next sections of the redeveloped hospital for the Northern NSW Local Hospital District.
‘Workers were told to smile for the camera, but they still haven’t been asked for any genuine input into staffing levels in the new wards,’ Mr Hayes said.
‘Lismore Base Hospital has suffering from staffing shortages ever since the first stages of the redevelopment were opened.
‘Given these ongoing problems, you would think hospital management would make some effort to ensure the new facilities were adequately staffed.
‘But incredibly, the new Recovery Centre, Operating Theatres and Centralised Sterilising Services Department are all set to be opened, and workers still have not have not even been properly consulted.’
Mr Hayes said the Northern NSW LHD had failed to provide the HSU with detailed information about the planned operation of the new facilities, making it impossible to do a thorough and accurate analysis of staffing needs.
‘Hospital managers are effectively asking workers and the public to trust them in regards to the level of staffing to be put in place when the new facilities open.
‘Sadly, the LHD does not have a great track record on this issue, so workers are justifiably concerned.
‘Adequate staffing levels are absolutely crucial to maintaining high standards of care on hospitals, so these decisions cannot be left to guesswork.
‘That’s why the HSU is calling on hospital management to conduct genuine and meaningful consultation with workers, and to ensure the new facilities are fully staffed, before the doors are officially to the public.’
More to come