NURSES in Orange hospital deserve the same staff-to-patient ratios as Sydney hospitals, according to the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA).
NSWNMA secretary Brett Holmes said he was pushing for less patients per nurse and more nurses on a shift.
The NSWNMA is calling on Premier Barry O’Farrell to listen to the concerns of nurses about staff-to-patient ratios.
The union also says the new system of small wage rises is unfair to the sector.
“Through the government’s manipulation of industrial laws, the most that is supposed to be given to NSW nurses and midwives is 2.5 per cent per annum, unless trade-offs are made,” Mr Holmes said.
“This is regardless of increasing skill levels and their levels of productivity.”
Mr Holmes said nurses working at Bloomfield in mental health also needed better staff-to-patient ratios.
“Currently they have 5.5 hours of nursing on a shift, which falls short of the six hours we are asking for,” he said.
“Our nurses are now dealing with a number of aged mental health patients who require appropriate care.”
Mr Holmes said NSW nurses and midwives are calling on the government to put patient safety first by improving and extending legally enforceable mandated nursing hours or equivalent shift ratios.
He said community nurses also needed to be protected from overwork, with four hours face-to-face the maximum on a shift.
“We have to take into account community nurses have quite a lot of travel involved in their work and they have paperwork pressure as well to manage their shift,” he said.