Ayres Fights For Local Nurses In State Parliament

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Liberal Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres took his place in State Parliament today and immediately began working for his community by raising Nepean Hospital staffing as an issue in Question Time.

Mr Ayres asked his first question in State Parliament question time, directing it to Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt:

"Given the regularly overcrowded waiting room at Nepean's emergency department - and the fact that the majority of senior nurses at this important hospital are only Acting in their positions - will you agree to meet with me in Penrith and a delegation of Nepean nurses to resolve these issues?"

"The people of Penrith sent a strong message to the Keneally Labor Government on the weekend that their health services were being neglected," Mr Ayres said.

"During the course of the campaign, healthcare and Nepean Hospital were continually raised as issues by families I spoke with," he said.

"That is why we developed a five point plan to deliver better healthcare services to the people of Penrith."

  1. Deliver Nepean Hospital its fair share of resources;
  2. Fill vacant frontline jobs of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, like physiotherapists. Filling these positions will make more beds available to address the long surgery waiting list and emergency department blockages;
  3. Offer permanent appointments to senior nurse managers who have been 'acting' in their position for years;
  4. Give Heads of Departments information about their budgets, so they are directly involved in the running of their departments; and,
  5. Abolish Sydney West Area Health Service and replace it with a flatter Health District structure with Boards made up of local clinicians and community representatives.

"I will not rest until Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt addresses the serious staffing issues at Nepean Hospital," Mr Ayres said.

Mrs Skinner said Carmel Tebbutt refused to travel to Penrith to meet with local nurses.

"Local nurses at Nepean Hospital have been seeking a meeting with Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt since late March," Mrs Skinner said.

"Unfortunately in the intervening three months Carmel Tebbutt hasn't even met with local staff, and the only time she visited Nepean Hospital was to appear next to Kristina Keneally in a photo-shoot," she said.

"It was yet another case of 'lights, camera, no action' from Kristina Keneally and Carmel Tebbutt.

"Only the NSW Liberals & Nationals have the positive, practical plans to deliver a healthcare system that puts patients first," Mrs Skinner said.