Un­ease at hos­pi­tal

Townsville Bulletin - - News - Alexis Gill­ham health re­porter alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.’’

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