Our response to the article titled ‘Critical Gridlock’ in the Courier Mail (Page 1, Jan 10).
Queensland nurses and midwives are taking action to address patient safety and understaffing concerns.
In addition to providing hands on care, Queensland nurses and midwives regularly report understaffing or unsafe workload concerns for action.
The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU), which is run by nurses and midwives, is currently advancing Level Three and Four grievances around understaffing and unsafe workload concerns at Logan and Redland Hospitals respectively.
Concerns include ambulance ramping, patient wait times, patient flow, patient safety, bed numbers and staff workloads and skill mix.
The grievances were reported to the QNMU and immediately progressed under the Nurses and Midwives (Queensland Health) Award – State 2015.
Queensland Health executives will again meet with QNMU officials to discuss proposed initiatives in coming days.
The QNMU seeks adequate funding to implement increased staff numbers, improved skill mix, additional temporary and permanent beds and other initiatives at these facilities.
Other areas of concern where our members are currently working through the QNMU and the grievance process to resolve unsafe workloads include prisoner health services, perioperative and maternity
The QNMU has also been lobbying for a review of the governance of HHS since they were established in 2012 as we recognise that significant flaws in structure are contributing to the distress and frustration our members experience around keeping patients safe.
It is important to note that Queensland’s health system and staff numbers were decimated by the Newman Government - with more than 1800 nurses and midwifery positions cut - and significant governance changes made which remain in place, have effectively minimised the ability of nurses and midwives to raise their concerns and be heard.
In addition, we have seen Queensland grow and hospital presentations increase to meet the needs of our ageing population.
Queensland nurses and midwives, both on ward and within the QNMU, are determined to continue to protect Queensland patients and those who care for them.
Nurses and midwives keep Queensland’s health system safe.