Despite promises that frontline staff would not be lost as a result of "voluntary redundancies" in Sydney West Area Health Service, three frontline staff of Katoomba Hospital- including two Registered Nurses from the Close Observations Unit have been given voluntary redundancies. What is the "Close Observation Unit" you ask? Well its what used to be called the "High Dependency Unit" of Katoomba Hospital where the critically ill were once managed. Now that it has been downgraded to a "Close Observation Unit" it is staffed by only one nurse on each shift. Well, it takes two staff to perform CPR (Cardiopulmanory Resuscitation) effectively while waiting for the Medical Emergency Team to arrive.
And what about the brand-spanking new Mental Health Unit at Katoomba Hospital? Well guess what? Five of its fifteen beds have been closed since May 2009. The reason? Sydney West Area Health Service will not allow them to recruit a doctor to replace the one who left to join the management of the hospital in a newly created management position. Too many chiefs, not enough indians- which is basically the whole problem with Sydney West Area Health Service. And now that they're in the red financially, frontline staff at Katoomba Hospital are among the positions being shed.