New Maitland Hospital is undergoing accreditation this week, but it’s feared issues around staffing and resourcing could mean the hospital will struggle to meet the standards.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is examining eight standards, including clinical governance, infection control, communication for safety, and comprehensive care.
But staff have raised the alarm the audit doesn’t take ongoing issues at the hospital into account when making a judgement.
Detailed outcomes of the audits are also not made public to allowed to be discussed with the media.
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association Branch Secretary Kathy Chapman says staff shouldn’t have to pick up the slack.
“This is often where accountability is directed – to the nurses,” Ms Chapman said.
“We feel that it’s just another opportunity for the Perrottet Government to tell our crippling health care system, our Maitland Hospital, to do better with less.”
“We do shine our shoes to make things good.”
It’s understood, long wait times in the emergency department and outpatient clinics, surge capacity levels in wards, and heavy workloads have become the norm at the hospital.
Hunter New England Health has maintained demand for services has not increased since moving from the original Maitland Hospital to Metford, which only opened earlier this year.
Nurses insist, however, the catchment area has expanded without an appropriate increase to staffing.
Ms Chapman says it’s very possible the hospital will fall short in a number of areas.
“I reckon it would be embarrassing, for a start,” Ms Chapman said.
“What does it tell our community? What have we been given? What resources haven’t we been given to meet the needs of our community, our patients?”
“It’s just really sad to watch every day how those needs aren’t met.”