Nursing staff have secured a win over workload issues at Coffs Harbour Community Mental Health.
Following a review and weeks of negotiation, Mid North Coast Local Health District (LHD) management agreed to allocate one additional full-time equivalent (FTE) and annual leave relief position within the Extended Care Service team.
In April this year, members of Coffs Harbour Mental Health Branch of the NSW Nurses’ and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) were forced to take action and implement measures to manage their own workloads, after management failed to address their concerns.
Last September, branch members identified there were insufficient staff within the Extended Care Services team to cope with a rising number of clients. The members also raised concerns that the LHD had failed to appropriately cover relief for nurses on annual leave – a breach of the Award.
General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said he was pleased the LHD recognised the seriousness of the situation and had agreed to provide the additional full-time position.
“The nursing staff at Coffs Harbour Community Mental Health will be able to return to managing reasonable caseloads and deliver the appropriate level of support to their clients,” Mr Holmes said.
“Nursing staff within the Extended Care Service provide invaluable care, assisting vulnerable members of the community to stay out of acute mental health inpatient units and still access the dedicated support they require.”
The current action by the members will remain in place until the agreed positions become operational within the Extended Care Service team.