Serious concerns at SALHN 


Serious concerns at SALHN

The ANMF (SA Branch) has written to SALHN’s Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Justin Prendergast seeking, as a matter of urgency, SALHN’s action plan to rectify staffing shortages. 

The letter follows recent correspondence to the State Government seeking an urgent outline of strategies to address the problem of dire patient flow in hospital emergency departments and the crushing stress on hospital staff and capacity caused by the chronic lack of mental health beds in the wider community. 

Last month we also wrote to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital warning of serious concerns about fatigue and safety and a “significant shortfall of nurses to fill the base rosters.”

Following concerns raised by the ANMF (SA Branch) about extremely high demand and stress levels at the RAH, CALHN this year responded by declaring its intention to implement the SA Health Fatigue Management Framework as a “key focus in 2021”. We will continue to monitor that situation.

Now the ongoing staffing shortages experienced across SALHN, with the impacts this is having on members through additional shifts, overtime, double shifts, and missed breaks, remains largely unresolved to date.

Members feedback in relation to this matter speaks to emotional and psychological trauma, worsening fatigue, and being ‘guilted’ into taking on additional shifts, otherwise their colleagues and patients will ultimately suffer.

We have been raising these concerns repeatedly with SALHN. Despite advice that ‘hire to targets’ have been increased and other actions implemented to address this shortfall, little, if any, resolution to this issue has reportedly been seen to date.

Correspondence has been directed to the Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery seeking clear and definite plans that SALHN has implemented to rectify the chronic understaffing in the immediacy and also long term (view here).

We strongly encourage members to:
 • continue to escalate all staffing concerns internally, including through the SLS system
 • document all communication with managers, including date, time and to whom directed around staffing matters (for example, on allocation sheets)
 • continue to provide notification around staffing matters through the Safe Staffing Reporting Tool accessible through the ANMFSA website

If you require further information, please contact ANMF (SA Branch) Officer Samantha Wilson on 0474989479 or email