Safe Staffing To Deliver More Nurses For NSW Hospitals

The NSW Government is delivering on its promise to rollout a major staffing reform set to boost the number of frontline healthcare workers through the implementation of safe staffing levels in NSW public hospitals.

Phase one of recruitment is now underway to deliver more nurses and midwives in NSW public hospitals between now and July 2027 under the safe staffing levels reform.

Liverpool and Royal North Shore Hospitals are the first two sites in NSW to roll out the new safe staffing levels. Both hospitals have commenced recruitment for approximately 70 funded FTE nurses across these two sites, with some nurses already recruited for each hospital.

The staffing boost at Liverpool and Royal North Shore Hospitals will enable a one-to-one nursing care ratio for generally occupied Emergency Department (ED) resuscitation beds on all shifts, and one nurse to three generally occupied ED treatment spaces and ED short-stay unit beds on all shifts.

This follows discussions with the Safe Staffing Levels Taskforce established to oversee the rollout of the government’s commitment of 2480 FTE over four years towards staffing levels. It includes key leaders from the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA), NSW Health, and local health districts.

Implementation of the safe staffing level areas was scheduled to occur in phases over the next three years. 

Phase one of safe staffing levels is initially commencing in Level 5 and Level 6 EDs, which treat the most critically ill patients, and will then be progressively implemented across other hospitals and departments.

These reforms will improve conditions and staff experience and, in turn, boost retention, capacity and capability.

Implementing safe staffing levels is just one of a range of measures that the NSW Government is embracing to build a supported and capable health workforce, including:

  • saving 1,112 nurse and midwife positions by making the roles permanent;
  • abolishing the wages cap and delivering the highest pay increase in over a decade for nurses and other health workers;
  • beginning to roll out 500 additional paramedics in regional, rural and remote communities; and
  • introducing the health worker study subsidies scheme.

Quotes attributable to NSW Minister for Health Ryan Park:

“The NSW Government is delivering on its promise to rollout a major staffing reform.

“The safe staffing levels initiative involves the introduction of minimum staffing levels on every shift, which will result in more nurses and midwives employed in hospitals right across the state.

“Importantly, this reform will deliver improved staffing numbers to provide care for patients while supporting our frontline healthcare staff.

“The Safe Staffing Levels Taskforce will review this initial rollout at Liverpool and Royal North Shore EDs and use these experiences to help inform the roll out at future sites.”

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