We often say that NZNO is its members. Staff at Dunedin hospital are showing the truth of that statement. Unless members are working together to solve a problem, all the NZNO staff resource in the world won’t be able to fix it. Our power to affect change comes from the leverage we gain when individual members come together and work collectively.
Progress is being made at Dunedin hospital. NZNO delegates, with support from NZNO staff have been meeting with DHB representatives to work on solutions that are practical, real and will make a difference to NZNO members on the floor.
We have negotiated solutions that the DHB are putting in place, with 15 new registered nurses starting on NETP programmes on 28 March, ENs starting at the end of April and four casual HCAs to help with patient watches being recruited now.
A roster audit was completed this week and some changes will be seen in the rosters starting 24 March and we have been informed that 13 new staff have been recruited since January.
In the Emergency Department, benchmarking against other EDs around the country has been completed and ED staff are to be asked to complete a survey.
Longer term solutions include resourcing and properly implementing care capacity demand management right across the hospital, better clerical cover, organising breaks so staff can actually take them and providing safer resources like electric beds.
It remains to be seen how much pressure members need to keep on to make sure the right things happen at the right time.
One thing we are sure of is that members at Dunedin hospital are now actively engaged and have some control over what’s happening in their workplace.