Last week we sent members at Children’s Hospital Westmead a link to survey seeking feedback about staffing levels, workloads, and current vacancies. It’s great to see so many members taking the time to provide us your views.
This is the first step in our campaign to ensure there are proper and well-resourced staffing levels to match ever-increasing workloads.
Through responses to the survey, we have also become aware a few months ago the Executive of SCHN introduced a recruitment committee which reviews and approves all recruitment requests. It seems one of the criteria for approval is ensuring the recruiting department is not over budget – even if the role being filled is an already established position. This explains why there are lengthy delays in recruitment.
While we recognise there is not an endless supply of money, the budget should not be the only determining factor in a recruitment request being approved or denied. In the meantime, existing staff are being expected to shoulder the burden through increased workloads and additional pressure to do more with less.
The next stage of our campaign is to collate our survey results, including a list of areas and departments where we believe there are currently vacancies, and push for these to be filled immediately without delay or excuses.
We will also be engaging with members to determine priority areas for a full staffing and workload review. Members have told us that in many areas the staffing levels have not increased; however, there are now extra services or clinics being added with no consideration for the impact on already stretched workloads.
Other themes and topics coming through include not having enough staff to cover periods of both planned and unplanned leave, resulting in members now having excess leave. Proper and well-resourced staffing levels means also include having adequate staff to cover leave of all types.