IN RECENT MONTHS, the NSW Nurses & Midwives Association’s strike action has brought into renewed focus claims staff-to-patient ratios are putting patient lives at risk and other issues at Yass Hospital.

Union talks were also held with the NSW Government on Friday the 6th of April alongside further strike action in Yass and across the state.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman released a statement on Friday Yass on Regional Health Radar detailing she had met with Minister for Regional Health, the Hon. Bronnie Taylor MLC and the Executive Director of Operations of the Southern Local Health District in relation to community concerns surrounding Yass Hospital and Health Services.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman pictured at the launch of the new NSW Ambulance station in Yass last year.

Mrs Tuckerman said the aim of her meeting was to ensure Yass was “top of mind” in Regional Health.

“I want a renewed focus on Yass Hospital, with better outcomes for the community and our valued health workers who are providing care for the region.
“A number of issues have been brought to my attention in recent weeks, including ongoing frustrations that just haven’t been able to be resolved internally.
“Specific issues discussed included communication, responsiveness, services, staffing and infrastructure matters; and solutions initiated.

“While I certainly appreciate that not everything is a simple fix, we need to be more transparent on exactly what is happening,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The relationship with the Yass Community Consolation Committee (CCC) needs to be better, the CCC is a critical link to not only knowing problems but also solving them quickly.

“Security and issues with faulty duress alarms is being rectified and the expected completion of the system is June 2022. Interim measures are currently in place with Security One contracted whilst remediation works are underway. A security review has initiated approved plans for an increase in security cameras and the replacement of the faulty duress system.

“Regarding the telephone system – an external provider was engaged to investigate concerns which were resolved last month.”

Mrs Tuckerman said she was pleased that positive progress has already been made for Yass but there is always more to do.
“Staffing adequacy and vacancies are a huge issue across the health workforce right now. In NSW, our entire health workforce has worked tirelessly during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other frontline workers. I recognise this and am thankful for this committed workforce.

“Recruitment is underway for the current nursing vacancy with interviews completed and applicants identified. The Yass Hospital site manager position is currently advertised and closes on the 18th April.

“The provision of X-ray services 24/7 once relied on a single radiographer to be on call – this was unsustainable but again recruitment is now underway to solve this.

“Furthermore renewed medical imaging equipment will extend Medicare capital sensitivity until June 2028 and the ultrasound – which was fundraised by the Yass Hospital Auxiliary – has now been purchased.

“Finally, the Clinical Services Plan for Yass hospital will commence in the second half of 2022. This will include recent presentation numbers and new DPIE population projections which are anticipated to be released in the coming months.

“I – and the NSW Government and NSW Health – remain committed to reaching a resolution in the best interests of patients, communities and all our healthcare workers.

“I will continue to advocate for a strong response from the NSW Government and ensure Yass Hospital is well serviced to attract staff, to join the vibrant community which is the Yass Valley region.