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Patient Care at Risk


Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Tags: WorkSafe, Nurses, Hospitals, Workers Rights

Rosalie Woodruff MP on tomorrow to move -

That this House:

(1) Notes with deep concern that nurses in the Tasmanian Public Sector worked 4,473 double shifts and 97,757 overtime hours over a 12 month period (from June 2014 to March 2015) and that 576 double shifts were worked in August alone.

(2) Acknowledges that double shifts occur in specialty areas requiring high levels of mental acuity, including: midwifery; intensive care; trauma; and acute psychiatry.

(3) Recognises the implications of the findings of Worksafe Tasmania: that being awake for 17 hours is equivalent to a blood alcohol level (BAL) of 0.05 and that working over 20 hours is equivalent to a BAL of 0.1.

(4) Understands that nurses are only working double shifts because they do not want to see beds closed that are desperately needed by sick members of the community, and because they have a duty to provide collegial support.

(5) Accepts that double shifts impose a substantial cost on tax payers, and that over a 12 month period (from June 2014 to March 2015) $5,693,905 was spent on overtime for nursing.

(6) Calls on the government to permanently employ more nurses and midwives in order to ensure safe patient care rather than relying on overtime and double shifts.