Nurses and midwives across NSW are filing a major case in the Supreme Court over claims patients are missing out on more than 100,000 hours of care in public hospitals.
The essential workers will begin rallies and stop work actions on Thursday to bring attention what they say are “repeated breaches” of their employment agreement.
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association general secretary Shaye Candish hosted a media conference outside the Supreme Court just after 10am before court proceedings were filed.
“For years we have argued that the public health system is broken,” Ms Candish said.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives union is suing the NSW state government. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy PiperA crowd of union members rallied outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
“The government has ignored our warnings.”
The union said public hospital patients are missing out due to a broken staffing system which they claim is unable to deliver safe care to vulnerable patients.
The union claims the staff system’s failings equate to more than $18m in taxpayer funds not being spent on patient care.
“The shift by shift ratio system is the solution, but the NSW government refuses to acknowledge this, despite all other mainland states having them,” Ms Candish said.
The union claims public hospital patients are missing out on care. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy PiperNurses and midwives across the state will rally on Thursday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
She claims there have been multiple disputes involving staff, prompting the union to request staffing data, resulting in the exposure of the broken system.
“It paints an alarming picture of our hospital system,” she said.
The union will allege that more than 7000 contraventions of the award occurred at Gosford public hospital between the 31 December 2018 and 30 October 2022.
“This shows the NSW government’s preferred staffing model is no longer fit for purpose,” Ms Candish said.
At least a dozen nurses and midwives joined Ms Candish on the steps of the Supreme Court to announce the move.
Workers from the Royal Prince Alfred, Gosford, Wollongong, Westmead, Liverpool and John Hunter hospitals will be involved in actions this week.