Deadline over hospital's 'staffing crisis'

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2014

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Nurses at Dunedin Hospital have given the Southern District Health Board management until Monday to come up with a crisis plan in response to their concerns.

The demand came after a stopwork meeting, involving about 300 nurses from the city's two hospitals, Dunedin and Wakari.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation acting industrial services manager David Wait confirmed delegates representing staff had presented the demand to DHB chief executive Carole Heatly and executive director of nursing and midwifery Leanne Samuel.

He spoke of "serious concerns" about staff shortages and the impact of the shortages on patient care.

"NZNO members told the DHB leaders that many nurses were working overtime, double shifts and having no meal breaks and many part-time staff were working more shifts," Mr Wait said.

"They made it very clear the staffing crisis was affecting patient care.

"Some nurses feel they are having to make choices about what care they can provide and what they can't, and that's an unacceptable situation for any nurse to be placed in, or any patient to experience."

Ms Samuel said the DHB would work with the nurses to find solutions.

Mr Wait said if the DHB failed to act on the concerns, which he believed would be unlikely, that would be something for NZNO delegates to discuss next week.

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