Safety still an issue at Wallaroo 

7 April 2021

Wallaroo Hospital is pressing ahead with a reduced nursing roster despite serious concerns about patient safety.

Last September Wallaroo nurses protested against plans to cut three nurses from acute ward rosters.

The following month the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network (YNLHN) agreed to trial two different rosters, scaling back its initial plan to cut three nurses, instead cutting two by adding in a mid-shift (1000-1830).

The first trial roster saw four nurses posted to the early shift, three in the afternoon and two at night, plus a single in the newly created mid-shift. The second roster ran with one less nurse in the early shift.

Despite increased activity and high acuity at Wallaroo Hospital, management has chosen to run with the reduced roster.

ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj. Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM again expressed concern that reduced staffing numbers would impact on the safety of both patients and nurses.

"We do not believe the current roster is providing optimal care for patients and only adds to the stress and fatigue experienced by nursing staff," Ms Dabars said.

“Hospital executives continue to obsess with base numbers, not on the complexity, diversity and quality of care required to keep the Yorke Peninsula community safe.

“We have also been informed that on several occasions, due to high demand, the Director of Nursing has been required to come into the hospital after hours to be the clinical expert on the floor.’’

Nurses are being urged to continue to escalate concerns about unsafe staffing levels and missed or delayed patient care. The ANMF (SA Branch) will continue to closely monitor the situation and agitate for staff staffing levels.