News

Petition to keep nurses 24/7 in nursing homes in New South Wales

The New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association is campaigning to preserve the roles of registered nurses and nursing directors in the state’s nursing homes

A petition has been launched by nurses in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, against the potential removal of state legislation that requires nursing homes to have a nurse on duty at all times.

The New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association, which represents 60,000 nurses and midwives, is campaigning to preserve the roles of registered nurses and nursing directors in the state’s nursing homes. These roles are at risk of being cut due to changes in federal aged care laws that affect state legislation.

Nursing homes in New South Wales must by law have a registered nurse on duty at all times, but the state government is to decide whether to discard it by the end of 2015.

An amendment to the wording in the Commonwealth Aged Care Act 1997, made in July last year, removes the distinction between residential and nursing homes. This change could have a knock-on effect on the definitions in the NSW Public Health Act 2010 related to nurse staffing and the presence of a director of nursing. NSW minister for health Jillian Skinner has agreed to keep the status quo until the end of this year to allow for consultation.

The association is currently lobbying the Parliament of New South Wales to ensure the law remains as it stands.

An association spokesperson said: ‘Registered nurses provide skilled, clinical care to residents of NSW nursing homes with complex, high-level needs.

‘This includes assessing and managing changes in condition, providing pain relief and palliation, minimising discomfort or distress and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.’

To support the campaign, click here

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.