ANMF Media Release: LGH Emergency Department Concerns Escalate

29 June, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: LGH Emergency Department Concerns Escalate

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) have met today with representatives of the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) Emergency Department following their escalating concerns over in-patient capacity, emergency department overcrowding and their desire to be enabled to increase the quality of patient care in the Emergency Department.

Currently at the LGH Emergency Department over 20 patients are awaiting in-patient admission. One patient in the Emergency Medical Unit has been waiting over 90 hours for an in-patient bed, another has been waiting over 60 hours, and a dozen of these patients have been waiting over 20 hours for in-patient admission. In particular one of these patients is an adolescent who is yet to have a plan of care developed or even be admitted.

This escalation of ANMF member concerns comes after almost 1,000 postcards have been sent to the Minister for Health Michael Ferguson, calling upon him to permanently staff and open additional in-patient beds at the LGH, in addition to a number of other initiatives. However, the only initiative agreed to date is a 12 month trial of a Psychiatric Emergency Nurse on late shifts.

ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd said today ‘It is extremely worrying that the concerns of ANMF members in the LGH Emergency Department have largely been ignored by the THS and the Minister for Health since industrial action commenced on 19 March 2018. However, what is most astounding is that the calls for action by almost 1,000 patients accessing the LGH Emergency Department have also been ignored’.

ANMF members working in the LGH Emergency Department are incredibly frustrated by the inaction of the Minister and the Tasmanian Government. The ANMF will be holding meetings in the coming week to discuss with members an escalation to their industrial action.

“It is time for the Minister and the Tasmanian Government to step up and take accountability for this situation. The local THS management are constrained by allocated budgets and are unable to implement additional strategies to solve these issues without additional resources. Longer term strategies to increase capacity are welcomed but to date the Minister and Tasmanian Government have done nothing to solve the immediate staff and community concerns. Their hands off approach is disrespectful not only to our members but to patients in the LGH Emergency Department who deserve to have timely access to quality care,” said Emily Shepherd.

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Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021(NOTE: THIS IS A NEW CONTACT NUMBER)
Email: emily.shepherd@anmftas.org.au