Tweed nurses start bed closures

TWENTY-TWO beds have been closed at The Tweed Hospital as a result of nurses' industrial action.

Nurses from The Tweed Hospital and Murwillumbah District Hospital yesterday began the closure of one in four beds in a bid to secure better nurse- to-patient ratios.

Last Tuesday the Tweed and Murwillumbah New South Wales Nurses' Association (NSWNA) branches voted to join the statewide One2Four Bed Closure action plan.

NSWNA Tweed Heads branch president Zoe Guinea said the first day of bed closures had been a success.

“Twenty-two beds have now been closed at The Tweed Hospital,” Ms Guinea said.

“The beds have been closed along with transitional placements.

“One in four non-urgent community visits have been postponed.”

Ms Guinea said the closures were the start of the industrial action plan.

“This is just the first step; it is a start and it does take a while to close beds,” Ms Guinea said.

“You can't just move people out of their beds. No urgent care has been denied to any patients.

“We are doing this as carefully as we can; this is all about patient safety.”

Ms Guinea said patients and the Tweed community supported the action.

“The community have been supportive of us, and the patients more than anyone else see what we go through,” Ms Guinea said.

“We will continue to close one in four beds until we have closed the full amount.”

By Sunday, a total of 310 beds had been closed at more than 30 hospitals where industrial action began a week ago.

More closures are expected across NSW throughout this week. All emergency and time-critical services will be maintained.

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