State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the Health Minister to ensure adequate staffing levels are reached at the John Hunter Hospital, after last week it was revealed that six beds in the busy Emergency Department remain unused due to a lack of staff.
Staff and paramedics raised concerns last week with Ms Hornery about four Emergency Department beds and two resuscitation beds that remain closed due to a lack of staff.
The Emergency Department remains one of the busiest in the State, with almost 23,000 presentations during the last quarter of 2020, including 6556 arrivals by ambulance.
The lack of staff to use these beds is putting lives at risk with waiting times blowing out and ambulances forced to queue due to a lack of available facilities.
“The presentations to the Emergency Department continue to grow and despite recent expansions opened by the Government, beds remain closed and unused due to a lack of staff,” Ms Hornery said.
“Staff are being stretched to breaking point and are working harder than ever, but the promised increased staff numbers are nowhere to be seen.
“We have 4 ED beds and 2 resuscitation beds not being used and this is putting lives at risk. Staff are being put under pressure to use the resuscitation beds despite the lack of available staff.
“Ambulances and paramedics are forced to spend time caring for patients in queues at the hospital due to the lack of available bed space.
“This has led to a blow out in response times for our ambulances across the Hunter including code one incidents.
“We need to ensure our hospitals are adequately staffed to cope with our growing population.
“We need to see increases in medical staff so lives are not being put at risk,” said Ms Hornery.