Bungling over redundancies leaves hospital short of beds
LOUISE HALL AND NATASHA WALLACENovember 4, 2009
SICK children are spending days stuck in the emergency department of a Sydney hospital because of a bungled plan to lay off hundreds of health-care workers.
Eight pediatric beds at Nepean Hospital have been closed because two experienced nurses took voluntary redundancy, despite assurances by the State Government that no front-line staff would be affected.
The Sydney West Area Health Service has been calling for redundancies but NSW Health intervened six weeks ago to stop more frontline staff leaving.
The director of emergency at Nepean Hospital, Rod Bishop, said the nursing redundancies and long-term understaffing meant the system was not coping. ''I have never seen it this bad in my nearly 30 years in the public hospital system,'' Dr Bishop said.
The decision to cut staff led to the closure of ward beds, including the eight pediatric beds. ''We've had children here for two days because there's not enough beds for them to be admitted to.''...........READ MORE