Wounded by cutback
SIX SURGICAL NURSES REMOVED FROM HOSPITAL’S ROSTER
CONCERNS have again been raised for the future of Mt Druitt Hospital after it was revealed six registered nurses had been removed from the surgical roster.
The cuts come just months after Health Minister Jillian Skinner promised to expand the hospital’s surgical ward.
Senior surgeon Richard Hanney — who previously praised Ms Skinner’s preelection plan — said he was “deeply concerned” by the decision to remove so much experience from the ward.
He said he raised his concerns with management.
“Six nurses are being removed from the surgical ward at Mt Druitt Hospital, which I have not seen happen in the past,” he said.
“It is very disappointing to see services at Mt Druitt Hospital continuing to be cut in favour of Blacktown Hospital by administration based at Blacktown.”
Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospital general manager Sue-Anne Redmond said “nursing capacity at Mt Druitt Hospital’s surgical ward is in excess of patient requirements”.
“Two nurses have accepted transfers to Blacktown Hospital to grow their clinical skills in areas where demand is higher. Those who preferred to remain at Mt Druitt Hospital will be placed in other clinical units,” Ms Redmond said.
She said it was not unusual for nurses to work between both hospitals and said, if needed, staff would be given the opportunity to return to Mt Druitt Hospital.
“One of the key priority areas for Mt Druitt is surgical services,” she said.
But hospital volunteer Margaret Thurlow said it was time the government stopped using nurses as political pawns.
“I can’t believe they have done this when they are supposed to be building the surgical ward up,” she said.
“To say the nurses can return later is ridiculous, that never happens. These nurses deserve better.
“They can’t speak out for themselves but I know they feel downtrodden by it.”
Mt Druitt Labor MP Edmond Atalla called on the government to guarantee it would not close the surgical ward at Mt Druitt Hospital, yet Ms Skinner described the suggestion as “farcical”.