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Juggling of people and staff to meet health targets is risky

30 November 2016

NZNO chief executive Memo Musa is calling for a stock-take of operations at Waikato Hospital to be assured that nurses and their care of patients is not at risk because of there being too many pressure points at risk of bursting.

Memo Musa says that although the reports he is receiving from nurses is that they are just managing, they are in the same breath telling him that they are becoming concerned that the moving around of patients to meet targets means they are stretched to the limit and their care for people is not as good as they would expect to deliver.

“While on the one hand the government is pleased about the targets for elective surgery being met for example, we are hearing that these health targets are taking precedent to other needs of patients making it difficult for nurses to achieve their high standard of care of patients,” Memo Musa said.

“One senior nurse has said she feels that the lack of timely assessment of nursing demand could result in an adverse event because she cannot always get nurses to where they are needed. This is not the kind of working environment nurses should be experiencing.”

NZNO is a working member of the Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) programme led by the Safe Staffing Healthy Workplaces Unit.

“It is vital to the proficient running of services that the ebb and flow, and peaks and troughs in demand and staff resources required are understood. When this happens staff and consumer confidence alike goes up,” Memo Musa said.

“We urge Waikato to utilise CCDM to identify where the staff pressure points and bottle necks are so that the DHB and management can see more clearly where to put resources in response to patient need.

“What is evidently occurring at Waikato is similar to what we are hearing from a number of places around New Zealand in various settings.

“We believe underfunding is a contributing factor. Budget 2017 must be sure to match government expectations with the funding level. Right now I feel the mismatch is beginning to put good healthcare at risk.”

ENDS.

Posted in: Safe Staffing

Direct Media Enquiries To:

Karen Coltman

Communications and Media Adviser

karenc@nzno.org.nz

027 431 2617  |  04 494 8242

Member Eequiries: 0800 28 38 48

or email: nurses@nzno.org.nz