Hospital Demand Roundtable
On Friday 4 June the ANMF attended a Hospital Demand Roundtable attended by the Minister for Health and the Secretary of the Department of Health and other senior clinicians from across the South, North and North West. The Roundtable was convened following AMA and the ANMF lobbying to address the significant issues arising out of demand for health services and access block. The ANMF represented the nursing and midwifery professions and highlighted the challenges that nurses, and midwives are facing across public sector health services, including onerous overtime and double shifts due to vacancies and having an insufficient skill mix in a number of wards and units. This is exacerbated due to the ageing nursing and midwifery workforces and the numbers of retirees (and impending retirements) also with the loss of those who are moving interstate.
The ANMF proposed a number of solutions including, but not limited to, employing all graduate nurses and those on fixed term contracts permanently and concurrently employing more Clinical Nurse Educators and Clinical Facilitators to assist with skill mix. The ANMF also proposed improving the nursing hours per patient day workload model and associated business rules as well as lifting the relief factor so that this may assist in addressing workloads for tired and burnt-out nurses and midwives. The ANMF also highlighted that in order to be competitive and recruit, the base salary of nurses and midwives needs at a minimum to reflect other states and territories.
The ANMF firmly believe that without the required nursing and midwifery workforce, additional beds and capacity is impossible as there will not be the staff to safely provide care and treatment to these patients. The ANMF requested a report back on actions following the roundtable, however this was not committed to. The ANMF will continue to lobby on these issues through the Health Recruitment Taskforce on June 16, 2021.
Updates correct as at 10 June 2021.
Authorised by Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary