Bring Your Own Bed Campaign Launched
Members of the ANMF working at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) Emergency Department (ED) have continued to raise concerns regarding consistent bed block and ramping in the department. Ongoing bed block at the LGH places the entire ED under considerable strain and workload pressure, this is directly related to an inadequate number of acute inpatient beds, with the current bed numbers not meeting the demands of patients presenting to the ED. The ANMF have been raising these concerns with Tasmanian Health Service (THS) management, and directly with the Minister for Health, since June 2016. Members are frustrated by the lack of action despite positive solutions being put forward.
As a result, members have committed to industrial action. This action commenced on Monday 19th March 2018 and involves postcards being handed to patients and their families who have been waiting excessive lengths of time in the ED for hospital admission. These postcards will then be sent to the Minister for Health for action. In addition, ANMF have launched a Megaphone petition for the broader community to get involved with by signing online. You can view the petition online here.
Members working at the LGH ED will continue industrial action until the ANMF receive a commitment for the following outcomes (as identified by members) to resolve the current bed block crisis:
- Funding, staffing and opening up all beds on ward 4D at the LGH to its full capacity.
- Funding, staffing and opening up all beds on 4K at the LGH to its full capacity.
- Funding, staffing and opening up currently closed beds in the Intensive Critical Care Unit to be used as a High Dependency Unit.
- An action plan for respiratory isolation.
- Funding to staff permanent assistants in nursing (AINs) as sitters on the medical wards, to alleviate nursing staff from undertaking double shifts.
- A long-term commitment to fund and open additional medical and geriatric beds at the LGH.
- Funding to staff after hours allied health positions within the ED.
- More telemetry units purchased as often patients are waiting in the ED for a unit to become available on the wards.
- Implementation of Psychiatric Emergency Nurses seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to de-escalate and support all challenging emergency presentations, and that these positions are funded from additional resources.
During the campaign launch this week, ANMF member and registered nurse, Thomas Millen described the situation as “heartbreaking”. He along with his colleagues are not able to provide the quality care that they wish to. Thomas indicated that the area was operating more like a ward than an emergency department and that patients continued to flow in but there was no flow out to in-patient beds.
In response to the launch, the Minister for Health released a media statement saying that all the aforementioned strategies had been agreed to and was confused by the industrial action. He stated that it appeared to be a thinly veiled campaign to increase wages. As a result, ANMF will be writing directly to the Minister for Health seeking timeframes for implementation of members proposed solutions and will be reiterating that these concerns have been ongoing since 2016 and are not related to the public sector EA negotiations.
If you have any questions or concerns about the campaign, please contact the ANMF Member Support Team on (03) 6223 6777 or 1800 001 241 (if outside Hobart). Alternatively, email email@example.com.
Sign the Megaphone petition