ANMF Consider lodging a dispute with the FWC amid safety concerns at Calvary Healthcare North

14 December 2022

Media Door Stop

When: 14 December 2022, 1pm
Where: ANMF Office – 19 Brisbane Street Launceston
Who: ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Emily Shepherd

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Tasmanian Branch will consider lodging an Industrial Dispute with the Fair Work Commission if Calvary Healthcare Tasmania (North Management) continue to fail to holistically address ANMF members significant safety concerns with tangible and immediate solutions.

The ANMF on behalf of Calvary nursing staff at St Vincent’s Hospital have repeatedly raised concerns with Calvary Executive Management for over a month relating to unsafe staffing levels in wards and theatres. In addition, two consultation forums agreed to by Calvary with ANMF and members have been cancelled at short notice. When the meetings were finally convened, management failed to address the fundamental issue of safe staffing.

‘The current nursing staffing levels in St Vincent’s Hospital have a direct impact on the quality and safety of patients. The ANMF have raised urgent staffing level concerns with Calvary Executive Management and the response has been completely inadequate’ said ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Emily Shepherd.

St Vincent’s Hospital current staffing levels fall well short of the Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (ACORN) requirements which can result in one nurse caring for 10 patients. This not only increases risks to patients, but also places nursing staff in a difficult situation where achieving safe and quality patient care delivery is unattainable.

‘The longer that Calvary Executive Management continue to fail to engage with our members, the more challenging this situation will become. Many members may choose to leave the employer to work in other areas of the health care sector as they continue to experience burn out and feelings of anxiety about staffing levels and patient safety.’

The ANMF proactively proposed a range of solutions to Calvary Executive Management, including:
• increasing nursing staffing in line with ACORN standards;
• increasing patient ratios in a ward environment;
• and employing a clinical coach to support new and transition nursing staff, noting the
current recruitment challenges.

To date, the ANMF have not received any agreement with respect to the issues raised by members. The ANMF are therefore likely to be left with no other option than to lodge a dispute with the Fair Work Commission to seek assistance in resolving the long-standing safety issues.


Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021

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