CEO responds to nurses concerns at SERH

Following the report about nurses’ concerns on staffing, ongoing education and recruitment at the South East Regional Hospital, the new Southern NSW Local Health District chief executive Andrew Newton has responded saying that change is already underway.

He has also promised nurses that there will be sufficient clinical nurse educators for the continued education of the new intake of graduate nurses, something that was of major concern to staff.

Mr Newton met with representatives of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association at SERH on Friday, January 5 after receiving the letter, and said that the Local Health District would work through the issues raised with the association.

A spokesman for SNSWLHD said the meeting was very constructive.

“A way forward was discussed with a commitment from SNSWLHD executive to continue the conversation on issues raised by the Nurses and Midwifes Association to achieve an amicable resolution.

“Mr Newton has visited almost every hospital since his commencement in November 2017, with recruitment issues being raised in staff forums.

“We have listened to our staff and with their help are already making progress in improving recruitment processes. We have workshopped a number or improvements with staff which we are implementing into our approach.

“There is a need for nurses, doctors and allied health professionals right across the health district and we are actively recruiting to find the best people for those roles,” the spokesman said.

On the matter of the review which should have been undertaken six months after Professor Mick Reid’s report into the operations of South East Regional Hospital, the spokesman said Professor Reid would be returning to SERH to check on the implementation of recommendations from his report.

As soon as dates are confirmed, Mr Newton said he would share these with SERH staff. Mr Newton, who has been in the role of chief executive for less than two months said all recommendations in the 10-point plan will be adopted.

“Change is already underway at SERH and we will address any outstanding issues,” Mr Newton said.

“Meanwhile I and many others are also looking forward to welcoming the new graduate registered nurses in a few weeks. Their continued education and supervision into practice, is important and there will be sufficient clinical nurse educators to do this,” Mr Newton said.