Maitland nurses hit shops to rally local support

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Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will hit Greenhills Shopping Centre at East Maitland this evening, Thursday 26 June, to speak with locals about their campaign for improved nurse-to-patient ratios and concerns around the privatisation of the new Maitland Hospital.

The members, from NSWNMA Maitland Hospital Branch, are calling on the NSW government to extend nurse-to-patient ratios into all public health facilities and specialty units, including emergency departments, intensive care units and more country hospitals.

Currently, only selected wards in metropolitan hospitals have ratios of one nurse to four patients in place.  International research indicates that increasing the amount of nursing care leads to better health outcomes for patients.

June 30 will spell another year without improved nurses-to-patient ratios, prompting nurses to call on the government to expand ratios.

NSWNMA Organiser, Matthew Byrne, said local nurses and midwives were committed to safe patient care and a well resourced public health system.

“It’s important the Maitland community is aware of what their local nurses and midwives are up against when trying to deliver safe patient care,” Mr Byrne said.

“Our members are rightly concerned about recent health funding cuts in the federal and state budgets, and what that means for the likelihood of ratios being mandated across all public health facilities in NSW.

“There’s also a large amount of concern about the government’s lack of details surrounding the new Maitland Hospital at Metford.

“The government is already putting mental health and palliative care services out to tender and selling off public disability services – the Maitland community deserve to know if their new hospital will be privately operated and what impacts that could have on accessibility.

“We’ll continue campaigning around these issues to ensure the community is well informed.”

The members will hand out information about their Ratios: put patient safety first campaign and seek support from local shoppers by visiting www.backyournurses.org or via social media at

NB: NSWNMA Maitland Hospital Branch members will a hold a pop-up stall inside Greenhills Shopping Centre, East Maitland, from 5pm-9pm TODAY.

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