Nurses? bed threat off after new staff offer

NURSES at Coffs Harbour Health Campus yesterday decided to accept an interim offer by hospital management to avoid closing beds at the hospital.

The hospital offered to provide an extra enrolled nurse on the afternoon shift in the hospital's 42-bed medical wared.

The nurses had threatened to close five medical beds from midnight last night until the hospital management agreed to fully fund a supervising nurse on the afternoon shift in the ward. The shift is from 2.30pm until 11pm.

The action would have meant reducing bed numbers in the ward to 37, which the nurses said was a safe level of patients to be cared for by the existing staff.

NSW Nurses Association media officer John Moran said the branch executive had decided to accept the interim arrangement in the short term in good faith to avoid closing beds, but it was still their long-term objective to get a full management position funded.

NSWNA assistant secretary, Judith Kiejda, said the medical ward, which included eight high-dependency beds, had to fund its supervising nurse on the afternoon shift from its existing budget.

She said this meant they were funding nine nurses out of a budget for eight and had to make savings in other areas, like not replacing nurses on sick or annual leave.

The nurses launched their campaign with a rally outside the hospital earlier this month under the banner of Just One More Nurse.

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