Health board confident over nursing numbers

The Southern District Health Board said last night it was confident its nursing numbers in Dunedin were adequate.

The board does not accept the concerns made public by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) last week about a ''staffing crisis'' affecting patient care in Dunedin Hospital and Wakari Hospital.

The board and NZNO delegates met about the issue late yesterday afternoon.

Health board nursing and midwifery director Leanne Samuel said it was important to keep the matter in perspective, and she did not agree the situation was a crisis.

''We are confident our staffing levels are suitable, but are keen to discuss further any adjustments to ensure we provide the best possible patient care.''

Last week, after a meeting attended by about 300 nurses, the union said members were rationing care, and were concerned about the effect on patients.

''[Yesterday's] meeting allowed us to explore further some of the issues raised by nurses [last week]. We will now work together with the NZNO on developing a range of solutions,'' Mrs Samuel said.

Nurses at SDHB

It is time for Nurses to stand up in unity as it appears the NZNO is sadly lacking. What a sad state the leadership within Health Care Otago has become ... reshufffling with the same people at the helm with complete disregard for the largest workforce of staff - Nurses! Shame, shame on you!!!

Nurses

Dont get me started. This shows the contempt that Mrs Samuel appears to holds for nurses, and just how pointless the meeting as it seemed to fall on deaf ears.
What about the nurses who will all be retiring in the next 5 years leaving a massive shortage? Who will fill those gaps? The new grads who might have been trained and helped by all that experience are being ignored and have been hung out to dry by this DHB.
Let's face it - New Zealand does not have strong unions, and the same goes for midwifery as it does for nursing. They take subscriptions and provide the minimum.
I hate to say, it but only drastic action will make a dent, but again they know that as caring people that is unlikly to happen. My advice to all nurses: if you want to show up the real problem, work strictly to rule.
Don't do overtime, and don't cover shifts on days off as this is papering over the cracks and allows the Mrs Samuels of the world to tick the 'covered it' box. Only by doing this will the true extent of the problem unfold. [Abridged]

Nursing short-fall

Perhaps it's time we all left the NZNO and joined the PSA. The Dunedin office of the NZNO, has been for far too long in the pocket of the SDHB. The PSA has shown it has some punch and is not afraid of taking the SDHB on. It has shown at least with the Wakari bed reductions, it has the ability for a frontal attack on the SDHB. Rather than wave the white flag in the rear like the NZNO.

Go Nurses!

SDHB has needed a pill for incompetence for many years now. The same old folks making the same old bad decisions. Time they took a walk out the side of the plane into the cradle of their golden parachutes (they are bound to have them packed ready). Who can make them accountable? Not the Minister it would seem. Smarten up your act all those who chose to be "in charge". Smoke and mirrors are good for a Magician, terrible for a Health board.

Nursing

As a nurse of 34 years practice and a reluctant member of NZNO this report indicates that the cosy relationship between SDHB Executive Managment and the local NZNO office is to continue. I know many of my fellow nurses are members of the NZNO for one reason only and that is they offer indemnity insurance for practising nurses. The public are being let down not only by an Executive Team on the SDHB but by the Organisation that is supposed to represent Nurses industrially and professionally. It's not only time for a fresh look at the costly and  ultimately ineffective executive model of DHB management but also the costly and ineffective structure of the NZNO. Fortuntely  I have confidence that my fellow Nurses are slow to anger but once provoked can be fearless in defending the health needs of the people they care for. Carol Heatley, putting the patient first means you need to support the people who actually do the work of patient care, our nurses.

Nurse/ Patient ratio needs to be addressed

SDHB's Leanne Samuals states that nursing numbers are adequate. Did she attend the meeting to listen to concerns? Another public meeting was held after the nurses meeting but Board members were not allowed to attend. It seems to me that SDHB is not listening again.

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