Usual operation at Burra

Country Health SA has refuted claims by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation that staffing levels at the Burra Hospital will be reduced orservices downgraded.

A flyer distributed in December by the ANMF (SA Branch) said members had voted to take industrial action to stop Country Health SA reducing registered and enrolled nurse staffing levels at the hospital.

“There has been no change to staffing levels at Burra Hospital,” Yorke and Northern Regional Director Roger Kirchner said in a statement issued to the Northern Argus.

Country Health SA is working with hospital staff and the ANMF to look at the possibility of employing nurse assistants to work specifically in aged care support at the site, and has also undertaken to meet with hospital staff and the ANMF on a weekly basis to work through the proposed structure changes.

“Nurse assistants are common across Country Health SA and the introduction of these roles will provide a wider range of employment options at Burra Hospital,” Mr Kirchner said.

Under the current ANMF Agreement, Country Health SA is required to have two fully qualified nurses on staff per shift and this will be maintained at all times.

Mr Kirchner said there would be no impact to acute and emergency services as a result of this proposal.

The ANMF yesterday confirmed that there had not been any industrial action over the matter and that changes to staffing at Burra Hospital have not yet occurred.

“Burra is an essential community hospital that provides both acute and aged care, and the current nursing staffing levels and the mix of nursing staff ensures the best and safest care for all patients presenting to the hospital for treatment.

“Moves to reduce the number and mix of nursing staff is of deep concern to the nurses at Burra, who are passionate about providing the best care for patients attending this community hospital.

“We are pleased that this move has been halted pending further consultation, and remain committed to engaging this process to ensure the community continues to have access to the best quality care possible,” Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars, ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary said.

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