MENTAL Health nurses have resolved to close a further two beds in the sub-acute unit at Goulburn’s Chisholm Ross Centre, following a meeting with management last week.
This will take the total number of closed beds in the subacute (low dependency) unit to six.
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association local branch executive and organiser Linda Griffiths said staff had reached the decision following a branch meeting with management on Thursday.
“About 20 members attended the meeting and they resolved to close a further two beds in the sub-acute unit to bring the ratio of nurses to patients back to safer levels for patients,” Ms Griffiths said.
She said beds in the high-dependency until will remain open so that care will not be compromised.
“The Report from the Local Health District Director of Nursing about the strategies they are putting in place will be good for local mental health services, however the short-term crisis continues and nursing staff have clocked up over 300 hours of overtime over the last two weeks to maintain the current level of services to patients while the recruitment issues are worked through,” she said.
“On the basis of the information presented to them on Thursday, members decided to close two beds in the subacute unit to bring the ratio of nurses to patients back to safer levels for patients. Ms Griffiths said the union planned to meet with management again next Tuesday to monitor the situation.
“We want to see where things are up to with recruitment. We are happy that three new nurses are starting on Monday, but a further 15 positions for mental health nurses have been identified as necessary to be filled,” he said.