On Monday 21 November pathology collectors were notified that The NSWH Pathology Drive-Thru Covid Clinic is closing down on Friday 25 November. On order to deal with the need for PCR tests Pathology North allocated the following sites to be designated for Covid Walk-in Signs & Symptoms patients. The sites are Warners Bay, Edgeworth, High St, Cessnock, Singleton or Tomaree collection centres. Members were also advised in the email they received on Monday that the service would commence that week, Saturday 26 November 2022.
Members were outraged at the turnaround time frame and the lack of consultation with imminent changes. They contacted their HSU Organiser to see what could be done. After talking to members about their concerns the HSU formally notified Pathology North that we were invoking Clause 26 and placing the matter into dispute for failure to consult regarding changes to service.
At a dispute meeting held on Friday 25 November the HSU raised concerns around PPE, appropriate training, concerns about workloads, infection control and how to manage this in the clinics with other vulnerable patients. Pathology North management are working with the HSU to address members concerns.
To date this service has not commenced and Pathology North advised that information would be sent out to staff advising them that the status quo was being maintained during the dispute process.