The Health News – 17 July 2015

Overview:

• The General Secretary of the Nurses and Midwives Association, Brett Holmes, said Emergency Department staff are calling for an additional nurse to be rostered on overnight to ensure the triage and resuscitation areas each have a dedicated nurse at Tamworth Hospital.

• Paramedics in Tasmania are being stretched to the limit as they work longer hours to make up for below-demand staffing, says the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) and the Opposition.

• Organisers of the Guinness Book of Records attempt, which will see at least 600 people form heart shapes with their hands, will be held this afternoon during the Katherine Show say their move goes straight to the heart of rural health issues.



Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th July 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-16/ed-nurses-won27t-move-unless-workload-concerns-addressed2c-un/6624406

The union representing nurses at Tamworth Hospital says Emergency Department nurses will refuse to transfer to the new premises next week if concerns about overnight workloads are not addressed.

The General Secretary of the Nurses and Midwives Association, Brett Holmes, said Emergency Department staff are calling for an additional nurse to be rostered on overnight to ensure the triage and resuscitation areas each have a dedicated nurse.

He said nurses are concerned with the staffing arrangement, and are worried the problem will only get worse when the move to the new Emergency Department takes place next week.

Currently a single nurse covers both the resuscitation and triage roles overnight.
Mr Holmes said it’s unsustainable.

The General Manager of Tamworth Hospital, Brad Hansen, said a registered nurse has been rostered to be on-call during the night to provide support when required.

He said this arrangement will stay in place temporarily until a review of activity and resources is undertaken and a long-term decision is made.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-15/tas-paramedics-health-problems-from-too-much-overtime-union-says/6622324

Paramedics in Tasmania are being stretched to the limit as they work longer hours to make up for below-demand staffing, says their union and the state’s Labor Opposition.

The Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) and the Opposition say there is a blow-out in the amount of overtime hours worked by paramedics under the current Liberal Government.

HACSU’s state secretary Tim Jacobson said there were too few ambulance paramedics available, and basic rosters could not be filled.

“The level of vacancies over the next week-and-a-half is somewhere in the order of 50 vacant shifts,” he said.

“People are working so much overtime that it is affecting their health.”
Labor’s Rebecca White claimed the situation was unsustainable.

“Staff are under enormous strain when they’re at work due to understaffing and then they are being asked to come in to fill vacant shifts on their days off,” she said.

Ambulance Tasmania’s chief executive Dominic Morgan has issued a statement saying the big overtime demands on staff at present were due to a “large amount of unplanned leave”.

He also stated overtime rates in 2014-15 were the lowest in five years.

Emergency Management Minister Rene Hidding said the workforce would soon be bolstered, with 14 new paramedic interns to be offered permanent positions following a selection process.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-16/katherine-gunning-for-guinness-book-of-records/6623890

Organisers of a world record attempt in the Top End town of Katherine say their move goes straight to the heart of rural health issues.

The Guinness Book of Records attempt, which will see at least 600 people form heart shapes with their hands, will be held Friday [this afternoon] during the Katherine Show.

More than 17,000 people are expected to attend the Katherine Show over the two-day event, which is the biggest event on the town’s calendar.
“Most of the people that come to the show come from remote and rural areas, from Indigenous communities to cattle stations, and access to health is a huge issue,” Ms Golding said.

“There is not enough awareness of what services are available and the statistics are alarming.

“Life expectancy of Territorians is five years less than the rest of the country.”

Katherine resident and NT Young Australian of the Year Chantal Ober has thrown her support behind the record attempt.

The Heart Foundation is also supporting the record attempt.

The record attempt will be held in the main arena at 2:00pm on Friday [17th July – today].

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