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Nursing shortages at Auckland DHB

3 June 2012:

A New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) survey of members working at Auckland DHB has shown shortages of over 120 registered nurse positions, 48 alone at Starship Children’s Hospital.

NZNO organiser Craig Muir says, “These shortages are shocking. NZNO members have been telling us how overworked they are but we had no idea how bad it was. Running a DHB 120 nurses short is dangerous! It’s dangerous for overworked, stressed staff and the flow on effect of that is concern for patient care.”

“Nurses pride themselves on the professional and technical work they do under trying circumstances. To hear that our members are willing to take their concerns to the media means the situation is very serious.”

“NZNO works closely with the DHB to resolve issues such as these. We are not always able to secure a safe result for patients and staff. We know the DHB is trying to save $4million. We also know that leaving 120 positions unfilled is not the way to do it,” Muir says.

“All New Zealanders ought to be able to rely on the best possible care when they are in hospital. It’s hard to see how that can happen when wards are so short staffed. Overwork and burn out inevitably lead to lower standards of care. It is only a matter of time before a serious incident occurs.”

Muir says that the situation could easily be resolved if the DHB prioritised staffing levels and patient care, “DHBs and unions need to draw a line in the sand – cost cutting should not impact on staffing and quality patient care.”

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