We continue to stand alongside and support our members to address the serious issue of hospital overcrowding. Although we do not run the hospitals or hold the purse strings, we remain firmly committed to advocating on behalf of members to try to influence those who do to make the best decisions for nursing and midwifery staff and for patient care.
Unfortunately, there are no overnight fixes. This is a system-wide problem that demands system-wide solutions, and these will take time. And these solutions will only be found by addressing issues across the hospital and wider health networks. For example, fixing the overcrowding in EDs requires change across hospitals and the wider health system to free up capacity that can ‘take’ patients out of emergency services. Mental health services in particular require greater sharing of capacity between hospitals and community-based care settings as well as collaboration between LHNs to provide access to services when one region is under greater pressure than others.
In the meantime, we are taking our role as advocates in this issue seriously by:
- Continuing to meet and engage with the Minister, the Department and all Local Health Networks.
- Succeeding in lobbying the LHNs for member-informed strategies to start addressing the problem.
- Continuing to hold the state government and LHN managers accountable for the implementation of solutions to this problem.
- Continuing our public exposure of issues (where necessary and appropriate).
So that we can continue to represent your interests, it is important that you also keep your voices heard:
Raise your concerns and ideas with the people in charge—we cannot make the decisions in your workplace, but we can support you to safely raise your concerns with the people who do.
Escalate your concerns and ideas to us—many member-driven strategies are now being pursued Local Health Networks, but we know that so far these outcomes are not directly translating into the workload relief you need.
Regularly engage with your Worksite Representative—we remain in regular contact with Worksite Representatives in Emergency Departments to monitor workloads and demand for care, so that we can continue to raise issues of concern with local management.
Stand together—we will go through times when we are tested, but if we allow these times to divide us, we cannot possibly succeed. Only by sticking together, with colleagues across the public sector and beyond, will we continue to have a voice at the table to lobby for the right decisions to made.
Our hospital overcrowding journey so far.