September 08, 2021
Middlemore mess highlights staff shortages
Nurses Organisation kaiwhakahaere and president Kerri Nuku says a Covid case at Middlemore Hospital has highlighted chronic under-staffing in the sector.
Twenty-nine staff including 11 doctors, 13 registered nurses and two healthcare assistants have been sent home to self-isolate for 14 days after a patient admitted with abdominal pain later tested positive for Covid-19.
Ms Nuku says across Tāmaki Makaurau the district health boards are about 350 nurses short, so that will put additional strain on those remaining.
She says adequate staffing should have been an essential part of any long term planning for a pandemic.
“If you are wanting to have a comprehensive prepared pandemic plan you need to make sure you have adequate staff and our nurses have been saying for a long time we don’t have enough staff, we’re burnt out, and there are going to be errors or accidents or mistakes if we continue on in this way,” she says.
Kerri Nuku there should be a mandatory Covid screening process for all new patients, whatever they come in for.