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Nurses at Dunedin Hospital are unhappy with staffing numbers and will raise the problem with management.
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has set up a meeting between some of its emergency department members and management to be held later this week.
Last night, nursing union delegates met in Dunedin to discuss other possible actions.
The NZNO president, Grant Brookes, of Wellington, said he visited Dunedin Hospital on Sunday to listen to nurses.
''The nurses aren't able to provide the standard of care they feel people deserve and need.''
He said some nurses were saying the situation was as bad as 2014, when 300 nurses attended a stopwork meeting to complain to management about low staff numbers.
When Mr Brookes visited the hospital, he saw patients waiting in trolleys in ED.
''The reason they were there is because ED was full, and the nurses were unable to transfer people to the wards because there weren't enough staff on the wards to look after them.
NZNO Dunedin organiser Lorraine Lobb said when contacted the union preferred to deal with the issue directly with the health board, rather than in the media.
''We are facing a multitude of issues. The place has been extremely busy. There never seems to be enough staff.
''Some of our members talk about when [computer software] shows that they're short of staff there isn't anybody to come and help them,'' she said.
''ED is finding it extremely difficult at this moment to cater for all the patients who are coming in. At the other end, patients are waiting to be discharged, so there's a bit of bed block.''
Southern District Health Board nursing and midwifery director Leanne Samuel said the DHB recognised its nursing teams were working hard.
''Our nursing directors meet regularly with nursing staff, as well as the NZNO, and these meetings are valuable opportunities to exchange information and discuss staffing, patient flows, best practices and various healthcare initiatives.''