ANMF lodge COVID-19 submission to Independent Review

4 September 2020

Following extensive consultation, surveying and meetings with members, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF), on behalf of members across the North West, have lodged a submission to the Independent Review into the North West COVID-19 Outbreak.

The submission outlines key themes evident from consultation with members during the COVID-19 outbreak and afterward, along with specific de-identified feedback from members regarding each of the terms of reference of the review.

“The ANMF recognise that the inquiry will be focused on a point in time when the outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in the North West, and that many improvements have been made since then and in line with the interim outbreak report,” said ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd.

“The ANMF will use the inquiry along with member feedback as a platform to focus on the broader strategic needs of the health system moving forward, not on apportioning blame.”

Key system and strategic planning matters identified include:

  • Planning capital works in health environments to accommodate social distancing in tea rooms, handover spaces, staff locker areas, and showers
  • Additional negative pressure rooms
  • Electronic medical and HR systems to reduce reliance on paper-based records
  • Additional staff in infection control and public health
  • More infection control nursing staff to provide support in the clinical environment into the future
  • Preparing and improving residential aged care’s ability to respond to COVID-19 and other acute illnesses, by advocating for improved staffing levels skill mix and education access

There are a number of avenues that the ANMF will engage to progress these matters including during the upcoming Tasmanian State Government Budget consultation process.

“The ANMF wish to acknowledge that the inquiry will be focused on a point in time when members and the community were dealing with an extremely difficult and traumatic time and note that there have been significant improvements since then to prepare for further COVID-19 cases.”

“It is important that we do not dwell on the past, but learn from the challenges and continue to move forward with health system improvements to support our members and the community.”