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To: Health Select Committee, Ministers David Clark, Jenny Salesa, Julie-Anne Genter, Stephen McKernan, Winston Peters, David Parker, Willie Jackson, Chris Hipkins, Iain Lees-Galloway, Clare Curran,

Divest the NZ DHBs of the responsibility of Nursing 'safe staffing' agreement

Divest the NZ DHBs of the responsibility of Nursing 'safe staffing' agreement

That the Ministers divest District Health Boards of the responsibility of funding NZNO members' wage negotiations for safe staffing.

Why is this important?

The DHBs have been asked by the Nurses Union NZNO for more money for more nursing staff to safely staff their (the DHB) workplaces (DHB workplaces are public hospitals), for 14 years, and each year since 2004, the DHBs have failed to provide money for more nursing staff to make their workplaces safe for the patients and the nursing staff.

When DHB workplaces are unsafely staffed the patients do not receive the care that they require. Essential monitoring of a deteriorating patient gets missed by the nurse because they have too many patients to safely care for, pain medication gets missed, nurses become exhausted and fail to take their meal breaks which compounds an already unsafe situation, and sentinel events (near misses, and serious injury and death to patients due to unsafe staffing) start to occur.

However as the DHB hasn't committed to putting Care Capacity Demand Management into place which is NZNO Safe Staffing request, as advocated for by NZNO, the instances of Unsafe Staffing in DHB workplaces are neither recorded nor audited. So NZNO, NZNO Nursing members, DHBs, or the Safe Staffing Healthy Workplaces Unit have no idea how many instances of care rationing have lead to sentinel events for patients being cared for in DHB workplaces.

The DHBs have a conflict of interest and at NZNO nurse wage negotiation times, pit one essential requirement of nurses demanding a pay rise versus the nurses essential requirement for more staffing to safely care for our patients.

The District Health Boards honour neither requirement, because it is in the District Health Board's interest to save money. This is a conflict of interest and it makes a mockery of the District Health Board acting as a "Good Faith" bargaining partner. This is the possibility of corruption in a government department, and is not acting in “Good Faith” as an employer.

We ask that the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation divest all District Health Boards from New Zealand Nursing Organisations 'safe staffing' agreement. Make the 'safe staffing' agreement between New Zealand Nurses Organisation, Ministry Of Health, and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

The DHB needs to bargain in good faith on the wages and pay increases for its employees. The DHB could then be held accountable to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment regarding honouring the government mandate of providing a safe DHB workplace for the staff and patients.

Ensure that care capacity demand management requirements are provided for and achieved in the DHB workplace, and are advised upon and enforced by NZNO.

Funding for Safe Staffing would be the only responsibility of the Ministry of Health to avoid future conflicts of interest, and regulated by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and be audited, administered, enforced and staffed by NZNO in the DHB workplace every shift.

It is important that an effective government department such as the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, which is bound by the Health and Safety Act 2015, can regulate, administer and enforce laws that protect the patients and staff who work in DHB workplaces.

Nursing and Allied Health Staff work in DHB workplaces and provide care for Patients, in the workplace that the DHB provides. The DHB is obliged under the Health and Safety Act 2015 to provide all requirements in their workplaces, to meet Health and Safety standards which include Safe Staffing, specific nurse to patient ratios depending on acuity/comorbidity that are enforced by New Zealand Nurses Organisation 24/7 on site staff who monitor, record, audit, communicate and find staff for unsafely staffed DHB workplaces.

NZNO would advise, regulate, enforce, administer and provide staff to monitor DHB workplaces and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment compliance with safe staffing. There would always be a NZNO staff member available within DHB workplaces 24/7 to monitor compliance of the DHB workplace's nurse to patient ratios and reporting, recording, and enabling provision of one or multiple nursing staff members to work should that be required.

Having a stronger and more responsive government Ministry in place will make accountability for safer staffing greater, will minimise care rationing by nurses to patients, and will decrease length of hospital stay for patients, it will provide for better care to the patient and more effective nursing care within a shorter time frame, and will diminish the incidence of serious sentinel events (serious and fatal harm caused to patients due to unsafely staffed DHB workplaces). It will also allow the DHB to act as a bargaining employer of Good Faith, and will restore some transparency, integrity and accountability to the DHB's reputation to deliver upon wage negotiation pay rises for Nursing staff.

http://nursingnzme2.wpengine.com/right-staffing-happier-staff-finds-ccdm-research/
http://nursingreview.co.nz/right-nurse-right-place-and-right-time/
http://nursingreview.co.nz/safe-staffing-and-nursing-strikes-a-brief-history/
https://www.nzno.org.nz/get_involved/campaigns/care_point/what_is_ccdm
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/opinion/2018/07/duncan-garner-irony-nurses-finally-get-safe-staffing-levels-during-strike.html

How it will be delivered

the signatures will be emailed to the Ministers.


Reasons for signing

  • Because we need more nurses and less beaurocrats!
  • Health and Safety is a legal requirement, and adherence to the 2015 act by DHB's should be separate to wage contract negotiations. Maybe Worksafe NZ should investigate Health and Safety of our DHB's
  • Safe Staffing is a health and safety issue NOT a negotiating tool in MECA

Updates

2018-07-14 23:16:45 +1200

100 signatures reached

2018-07-14 18:51:55 +1200

50 signatures reached

2018-07-14 16:05:44 +1200

25 signatures reached

2018-07-14 13:48:21 +1200

10 signatures reached