Zoe Guinea.
Zoe Guinea. John Gass

Fix that leak says union

A LEAK in the Tweed Hospital’s emergency department roof is putting patients and staff at risk, the nurses’ union says.

NSW Nurses Association Tweed Heads branch president Zoe Guinea said the roof started leaking in September.

However, a Northern NSW Local Health Network spokeswoman yesterday said the roof was repaired on Tuesday.

“One bed was vacated for two hours while the leak was repaired,” the spokeswoman said.

“There was no damage to equipment.”

Ms Guinea said there had previously been several attempts to repair the leak. “There’s been numerous claims that they’ve fixed it but it continues to leak,” she said. “At one point they closed a bed.”

Ms Guinea said water was dripping into a central monitoring system which was installed less a month ago for $350,000.

“In the heavy rain in January it was leaking over a doctors’ desk, into lights in the corridor and onto the bed in bay four.

“Bay four still has a large hole in the ceiling and when patients are lying down they can look into the roof cavity.

“The staff have done everything they can to mitigate the risk to the patients and move any equipment out of the area so it won’t be damaged.”

She added said the hospital could not afford to be closing beds.

“The department’s so busy, our occupancy rates are high here,” Ms Guinea said.

“The staff are becoming frustrated.

“They want a safe working environment and as advocates for their patients, they want a safe environment for them.”

The slightest rain shower was enough to cause dripping, Ms Guinea said.

“It doesn’t take much, it doesn’t have to be torrential rain.

“They have to put buckets under the drips and isolate the area.”

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