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Give us a hand

washing_handsThis blog post was written by an experienced NZNO delegate at Hutt Hospital.

Just when I thought the morale at Hutt Hospital couldn’t sink any lower and staff had had enough of negative reporting, last week saw yet another damming media report.  Hutt Hospital staff do not wash their hands as much as other hospitals, earning the unenviable accolade of being the dirtiest hospital in the country.

As a registered nurse at Hutt Hospital, I felt personally affronted, not only by the report which I felt beggared belief, but also by the derogatory, insensitive and extremely hurtful social media comments that resulted. I take my personal hygiene seriously. I want to reduce risk to my patients and reduce the risk to myself. I do not want to inflict unwanted bugs on my family.

I was hoping Management would respond quickly to the article in our defence (and surely they must?), providing reasons which could have contributed to the findings and reassuring the general public and staff that processes are in place to change these worrying statistics.

I’m also disappointed there has been no public apology about the article that accused nursing staff of ‘hiding beds and manipulating Trend Care data’ – albeit we were reassured management were misquoted in this article but the public are still waiting to hear this.

I’ve worked at Hutt Hospital in varying roles for the past 13 years and am concerned about the low morale. I’ve seen colleagues having full blown anxiety attacks, staff in tears because they feel at their wits end and “just can’t do this anymore”.  Many staff have already left and the rate of resignations is climbing and picking up speed. In the meantime we’re constantly being told that we need to work harder, smarter, faster.

This all comes hot on the heels of being told last week through the media that DHB CEOs been given a huge pay rise – up to 48%! Many view these pay rises as obscene and totally immoral in today’s economic climate.

We can’t go on like this. I hope HVDHB start implementing  strategies to support staff to be able to provide the high level of care we want for our patients.