Wagga Base Hospital’s new director of nursing and midwifery met with union representatives on Thursday morning after staff complained of being overworked and understaffed.
This came after nurses and midwives gathered outside the hospital on Wednesday afternoon to demand better conditions, saying some of them had been stuck working 16-hour shifts due to a lack of staff.
Michele Coghlan, who has only been in charge of the hospital’s nurses and midwives for three weeks, said her meeting with the union representatives was positive.
“It was a very collegial and collaborative meeting, it was wonderful to put faces to names, and we have agreed between us on the way forward,” Ms Coghlan said.
“We’ve agreed on the ways that we’re going to connect formally and informally, and also our ground rules for the ways that we’ll be working together.”
Ms Coghlan added that she felt “very comfortable” with the culture of Wagga’s health services.
President of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association’s Wagga branch Rebecca Deveraux said they remained determined to have the 16 unfunded surge beds officially opened so the hospital could hire staff accordingly.
“A resolution from our members was taken yesterday afternoon where the branch offered the hospital executive two options to consider in regards to the unfunded surge beds,” Ms Deveraux said.
“The options were to close all surge beds or to fully fund and staff these surge beds with clinically appropriate nursing staff.”