Local nurses join statewide campaign
Monday, 6th May, 2013
By Erica Visser
Local nurses are campaigning for better care for hospital patients.
The Broken Hill branch of the NSW Nurses Association wants staff-to-patient ratios improved so that patients are not left to fend for themselves.
The campaign is being held statewide, but local Association President Leanne Barber said that it was particularly important that ratios at the Broken Hill Hospital were improved.
According to the Nurses Association, in big city hospitals one nurse is shared between four patients, but in Broken Hill the ratio is 1:5 during the day and 1:7 on night shift.
Mrs Barber said that the campaign was about "improving patient care, so you'll be looked after in the system.
"Just because we're out here in the middle of nowhere, doesn't mean patients don't deserve quality care."
The hope is that ratios would be set at the same level right across NSW and the formula for staffing would change to better reflect patients' needs.
The Association last pushed for an improved ratio two years ago.
Local MP John Williams has backed the campaign, however he said that ratios were not a problem locally.
"I've always been happy to support the Nurses Association.
This is a statewide campaign.
Ratios aren't an issue in Broken Hill," Mr Williams said.
"We've put a huge effort into recruiting nurses for the area."
Meanwhile, nurses at the hospital will deck their offices with posters and campaign items to raise awareness.
"Whoever does the best gets a $50 goodie basket. We want people to take notice," Mrs Barber said.
"Then if they think, 'Well, Broken Hill's getting into the swing of things', it may make a difference.
"We've been trying to get this passed for a long, long time."