Plus new hospital on Government radar.
Te Whatu Ora Te Matau a Māui (HB) currently has 93.25 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) vacancies for nurses in our HB hospital.
This figure was supplied to BayBuzz this week, after we made an Official Information Request (OIA) while preparing a magazine feature article on the nurses’ vacancy crisis in Hawke’s Bay.
Published in BayBuzz magazine, due out next week, the article hears first-hand from a nurse working in the Emergency Department who describes conditions at breaking point with nurses “working 12-hour shifts “ and beyond “safe staff patient ratios”.
We also talk to a Union leader who says we can’t blame Covid for the current crisis. “Covid just exposed a broken health system.” She adds that many nurses throughout HB hospital are “burnt out” and “morale is low”.
This week the Labour Government’s Health Minister Alesyha Verrall unveiled an action plan to try and fill health workforce gaps throughout the country. As reported in Stuff, the staggering gaps across the professions sat at “4800 nurses, 1050 midwives, 1700 doctors including GPs, 170 pharmacists, 120 sonographers, 200 anaesthetic technicians, 220 dental practitioners, 30 radiation therapists, 30 clinical cardiac physiologists.”
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) have also been in talks and bargaining with Te Whatu Ora this week. Some 2,300 nurses and midwives are members of the NZNO in Hawke’s Bay, and our story gives them a voice with a local perspective on what the NZNO wants for its members and why.
HB on Government radar for new hospital
Meanwhile on another front, the Government has confirmed that Te Matau a Māui has a place on its Regional Hospital Redevelopment Programme.
“This means the Government will partner with us and provide funding for a new hospital,” says Patrick Le Geyt, Regional Director, Central Region, Te Aka Whai Ora (Māori Health Authority) on a promotional video at http://hbdhbprojects.nz/
Hawke’s Bay Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (Hawke’s Bay Hospital) was built in 1928.
Andrew Boyd, Head of Hospital and Specialist Services Business Partnering, Te Whatu Ora says on the same video, that healthcare demand has outpaced our system’s capacity. “Today many of our facilities are old, too small, and no longer fit for purpose.“
But whether the current hospital will be re-purposed or whether a new hospital will be built on a new site, is speculation.
Aaron Matthews, Director – Capital Investment, Infrastructure and Investment Group, Te Whatu Ora told BayBuzz this week that identifying the need for any new infrastructure investment or the refurbishment of current facilities requires various plans and assessments to be completed, which takes some time – up to several years in some instances.
“We are making steady progress towards the completion of a comprehensive Clinical Services Plan, Asset Management Plan and subsequent Site Master Plan. These will help inform a Programme Business Case, which is currently scheduled to start next year subject to approval to proceed.
“Funding for any infrastructure redevelopments would need to be sought through the budget process once this work is completed. The timing and priority of any redevelopment of the hospital is yet to be determined.”
Prospects for a new hospital is another issue explored in the forthcoming BayBuzz magazine.
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air