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.

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