Western Sydney Local Health District chief executive Danny O’Connor has praised the work of nurses at Westmead Hospital and said jobs were safe, following a union organised gathering outside the facility today.
“It was a terrible winter with the flu season but we don’t need as many beds so we have closed a ward due to demand dropping off,” Mr O’Connor said.
“I want to reassure staff that altering bed capacity is routine management for NSW hospitals and this has no impact on jobs or patient care.
“It’s completely reasonable for our staff to voice their concerns when they are worried about our operational changes.
“I respect them for doing this – after all, they do a fantastic job and want the best for our community.”
Far from losing nursing jobs, about 120 new first-year nurses and midwives will join Westmead Hospital staff in the coming months.
This will continue a steady increase in nursing jobs at Westmead Hospital that has seen 260 full-time nurses added to the payroll in the past three years.
In the 2017/18 financial year, $240m will be invested in nursing staff salaries at the hospital.
“All frontline nursing positions have been and will be continued to be backfilled,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Staff from the closed ward will be moved to other wards and we will continue to talk with the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association to resolve issues raised by members.”
“We employ more than 2000 nurses at Westmead and we need every bit of their skill and experience to make sure that we maintain top quality care for our community.”
Westmead Hospital consistently meets all elective surgery targets – 100% of category one patients (requiring treatment within 30 days) are treated on time while 99% and 97% of category two (requiring treatment within 90 days) & category three patients (requiring treatment within 365 days) are treated on time.