The opening of the new Central Acute Services Building (CASB) is fast approaching, with only 4 weeks today until the opening of the new Emergency Department.
As part of the consultation process, HSU representatives have been meeting fortnightly with the Westmead Executive, working through members’ concerns such as workflow changes, making sure there is enough equipment and storage, staff are trained and inducted prior to the new building opening, and there are appropriate increases to staffing levels.
We are pleased to say the majority of our concerns have been addressed. However, we still have major concerns about adequate additional staff being employed and in place prior to the transition to the new building.
As part of the planning for the new building, Western Sydney LHD received approval and additional funding for approximately 200 additional FTE to meet increased demand. This includes 33FTE additional Cleaners, 12FTE Security Officers, 27FTE Wardspersons/Orderlies, 18FTE Radiographers, plus additional Admin and support staff.
As we understand it, currently very few of these additional staff have actually commenced employment, with many of these roles still in the interview or onboarding process – and we all know the recruitment process can take up to 2-3 months for someone to actually start work.
This week, the HSU wrote to the General Manager outlining our concerns. We have also advised that if the additional staff are not in place, fully trained and inducted when the new building opens and services commence, we will be advising our members not to pick up any additional tasks or workloads. We hope it doesn’t come to this.
Our next fortnightly meeting will take place on Wednesday 27th January and we will hold a full HSU member meeting the following day to provide a full update. Details below: