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CDHB mental health resources stretched too thin

Media Release 6 March 2017

CDHB mental health resources stretched too thin

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation supports comments made by mental health nurses in an article featured in The Press this morning about the mental health services and staffing being under strain at Canterbury DHB: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/89624342/christchurchs-specialist-mental-health-services-on-a-knife-edge

Chief Executive Memo Musa says the issues in Canterbury are themes coming through from NZNO members but are building up rapidly in Canterbury. An NZNO delegate has said today that she feels it has got much worse in the last 6 years.

“We are concerned about safe staffing levels within Specialist Mental Health Services in Canterbury,” Memo Musa said.

“The number, and severity of, assaults is unacceptable. Nurses should of course not be assaulted at work. We are talking with management to work out how to resolve this issue as a top priority.

The delegate explained today that inexperienced staff are being placed in situations they are not able to handle and then senior staff are managing this but she said many senior staff have left.

“We are working well with senior management but frankly CDHB is operating with inadequate funding. Many of the facilities are not up to standard and have not been purpose built so this adds to the strain everyone is under,” he said.

“Vacancies in both community and inpatients units are negatively impacting patient care, and the health and safety of mental health nurses.

“Over 2,800 NZNO members responded to the February YesWeCare health funding survey and all the comments from our mental health nurses are similar to the issues being experienced in Canterbury,” Memo Musa said.

Tomorrow (7 March) at 3pm outside Princess Margaret Hospital there is an action organised by the Yes We Care (www.yeswecare.nz) campaign to highlight the unmet need and resource gaps within the current health system. NZNO members are participating in the campaign and are attending the event.

ENDS.


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