Unease at hospital
TOWNSVILLE Hospital has been accused of failing to properly report and investigate complaints.
It is also claimed junior staff were being promoted to senior roles without adequate training or experience.
A former health worker said response times to complaints were too long and nurses were being promoted to higher roles one year after graduating from university. Queensland Health denied the claims, saying staff, including managers, were appointed following a rigorous process.
The Townsville Bulletin reported last week there had been 58 complaints to the Ethical Standards Unit with three senior bureaucrats departing within the space of 12 months at the hospital.
The health worker spoke to the Bulletin on condition of anonymity and said junior staff members were often promoted without the skills or knowledge to mentor the younger staff they were then put in charge of.
‘‘ They ( Queensland Health) promote very quickly,’’ she said.
‘‘ Nurses are often only a year out from graduation and are very junior when they move up to a level two,’’ she said.
‘‘ They have a lot more responsibility as a level two but many of them don’t function under the code of conduct ( and) there is an ineptness in their management.’’
The source said when a complaint was made, it was often acknowledged well past the required time, and often there was no response at all.
Townsville Health Service District chief executive Mary Bonner said the complaints resolution process ensured equity and quality human resource practices in the workplace.
‘‘ All staff have access to information on this process through our intranet site which outlines the appropriate steps to take when making a complaint,’’ she said.
‘‘. . . it should be acknowledged that some workplace complaints are often complex and require thorough investigation.’’
Joel Wilson of the Queensland Public Sector Union, which represents both allied health professionals and hospital administration staff at the hospital, said he was aware of instances where employees had been promoted unfairly.
‘‘ In the past we have challenged the selection of a position because the correct processes were not followed,’’ Mr Wilson said.
‘‘ When these correct processes are not followed, the people entitled to the position are not promoted.’’
‘‘ Sometimes people may be good at their role and are promoted to a management role because of it, but managers require different skills to be effective.’’