Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 June 2022) . . Page.. 1837 ..
must deliver on her government’s commitment on nurse to patient ratios so the Canberra community can start to have some confidence in a health system struggling in so many ways.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH- (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (3.01): I move the following amendment:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
(a) mandated minimum Nurse/Midwife-to-Patient Ratios is a process of organising patient care with a mandated number of nurses and midwives every shift;
(b) implementation of phase one of ratios commenced on 1 February 2022 at Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce following approval of the ACT Public Sector Nursing and Midwifery Enterprise Agreement 2020-2022 by the Fair Work Commission;
(c) an amnesty period was agreed between the ACT Government and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation until 30 June 2022 to allow time for implementation of ratios in both health services; and
(d) ratios are currently being implemented in phase one across acute aged care, general medical, general surgical and adult mental health units with three key compliance measures:
(i) a supernumerary team leader on the morning and afternoon shifts;
(ii) the appropriate ratio for each shift which is dependent on the unit type, level of care being provided within that unit and the shift; and
(iii) skill mix of no more than 25 percent Enrolled Nurses to 75 percent Registered Nurses.
(2) further notes:
(a) the ACT is just the third jurisdiction in Australia to implement ratios;
(b) the Canberra Liberals did not commit to the implementation of ratios at the 2020 ACT Election unlike ACT Labor and the ACT Greens;
(c) in the 2021-22 ACT Budget the ACT Government committed over $50 million to implement phase one of ratios, which has supported the recruitment of 90 full-time equivalent nurses;
(d) there is a recognised international shortage of nurses and other health professionals that is placing pressure on all health systems; and
(3) calls on the ACT Government to:
(a) continue planning for ratios compliance to be publicly reported by health service and compliance measure each month;
(b) continue to work with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation to implement and manage phase one of ratios across Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce;