The Nationals Member for Geraldton, Ian Blayney MLA has raised concern following a spike in overtime worked by nursing staff in recent months resulting in one nurse working 18 hours continuously at Geraldton Regional Hospital (GRH).
“This issue was first raised with me by a constituent who was a patient at the hospital concerned for the wellbeing of nursing staff who had no choice but to work extra hours.
“It is of great concern that nursing staff are being required to work 18 hours straight,” Mr Blayney said.
Recent data obtained in Parliament has confirmed a more than 70% increase in nursing staff overtime in May and June 2020 when compared with April.
“Almost 2,200 overtime hours were worked in May and June alone which is not only having an impact on staff, but also on the budget allocated to GRH, due to the burden of higher staffing costs.
“I call on the Minister for Health to review the cause of such excessive overtime hours at the hospital and consider employing more permanent nursing staff to ensure that demand can be met without causing staff to burn out,” Mr Blayney said.
Mr Blayney reinforced the excellent care provided at GRH with the hospital being named most outstanding regional hospital by the Australian Patients Association in 2018.
“I want to ensure that staff are supported to do their jobs and patients receive the care that they deserve in a timely manner.
“Having an appropriately staffed and resourced hospital is paramount to achieve that, and I invite staff and patients to contact me to share their stories to ensure we remain focused on that outcome,” Mr Blayney said.
The Nationals Member for the Agricultural Region and health spokesperson Hon Martin Aldridge has supported calls for a review of staffing arrangements at Geraldton Regional Hospital.
“Recently I visited Geraldton Universities Centre and Central Regional TAFE with Ian and Nationals Leader Mia Davies MLA and saw firsthand the fantastic work being done by these local organisations to train and qualify our newest nurses in the Mid West.
“The Nationals are committed to regional health and training locals for local jobs and Geraldton has a good track record of doing just that,” Mr Aldridge said.