The Tweed Hospital.
The Tweed Hospital.

Hospital admin cuts

TWEED Heads and Murwillumbah hospitals could lose their individual directors of nursing (DON) and executive officers (EO) if a North Coast Area Health Service proposal to amalgamate nurse management positions at 15 hospitals goes ahead.

Susan Pearce from the NSW Nurses Association said NCAHS dropped the final proposal on their desk and gave them less than 24 hours to respond.

“That is totally inappropriate, and we have lodged a local dispute so we can have proper discussions about the proposal,” Ms Pearce said.

“It is also important that affected communities have time to study the proposal.”

It is proposed Murwillumbah will lose their EO and Tweed their manager, to be replaced by a shared general manager. Both hospitals will also lose their separate DON in favour of a joint position.

“This represents massive change to the management of nursing services at these hospitals and should not be rushed into without a proper debate about the implications for clinical services,” she said.

“In most of the smaller hospitals these senior nurses also perform clinical duties because of the lower staffing numbers.

“Many of the proposed amalgamations also include campuses that are quite some distance from each other and involve considerable driving time commuting from one to the other.”

A NCAHS spokesperson said: “These proposed management changes will see the deletion of four senior management positions.

“NCAHS has consistently said that management needs to contribute its share of the reduction of the 400 positions being deleted as part of the staff reorganisation.”

The spokesperson said Murwillumbah will continue to have an on-site nurse manager.

Affected hospitals are Grafton, Lismore, Ballina, Maclean, Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Kyogle, Nimbin, Urbenville, Casino, Coraki and Bonalbo.



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