HNELHD: Maitland Hospital Surge Beds further update

Dear Member,

After calling for and receiving permanency for the positions within HNELHD associated with the surge beds at Maitland Hospital, the HSU wrote to HNELHD and HealthShare about the following additional issues raised by members:

  1. What permanent additional staff will be recruited within HealthShare to support the additional 10 beds?
  2. Currently, there are only 2 afternoon discharge cleaners that cover the entire Maitland Hospital. The permanent addition of 10 beds will add to their already high workload.
  3. The workload and beds covered by physiotherapists has increased over time (including these 10 beds) with no corresponding increase in staffing. We request a review of the workload and appropriate ratio of physiotherapists to the current Maitland Hospital profile, including the 10 now permanent beds.
  4. What, if any, beds will be used to deal with future patient surges? How will those beds be staffed?

On 19 October 2023, HealthShare responded to the HSU with the attached letter, they said:

Management’s response to points 1 and 2: HealthShare NSW are proposing to increase of service provision by 2.97FTE (52 hours total) over 8 hours per day / 7 days per week; split across:

(1) Food Services – 1.47FTE (productive) to provide full meal service (3x main meals and 3x mid-meals via My Food Choice).

(2) Cleaning Services – 1.47FTE (productive) to provide daily cleaning.

Noting that the above service provision was already implemented over 12 months ago in response to a temporary service increase need of HNELHD. These hours have been resourced with temporary/exempt contracts (respectively) and will now be made permanent.

On 24 October 2023, HNELHD responded to questions 3 and 4 by email to the HSU as follows:

Management’s response to point 3 (above): The profile budget for Maitland Physiotherapy prior to the January 2022 move to the new Maitland Hospital site was: 6.96FTE (FY22). The current profile budget for Maitland Physiotherapy is: 10.42FTE equating to an increase of 3.44FTE since January 2022.  Physiotherapists see patients based on clinical priorities within this workforce profile.

Management’s response to point 4 (above): Currently there are no plans to open additional beds beyond what is currently available and in use at Maitland Hospital.  We continue to monitor patient presentations and staff workloads. 

What do you think of management’s response? Please send your feedback to [E-Mail not displayed] by 4pm, 3 November 2023 using the subject line “Maitland Hospital Surge Beds” or contact your local organiser Tracey Gaddelin ([E-Mail not displayed]) to have your say.

You can view earlier information about this matter here: HNELHD: Maitland Hospital Surge Beds Update [Public Health].

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