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NZNO welcomes Ngā Poutama Oranga Hinengaro

Media release 5 July 2018

NZNO is encouraging its members to participate in the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s mental health workforce safety survey – Nga Poutama Oranga Hinengaro that will be available at the end of next month.

Mental health nurses make up nearly half the mental health and addiction sector workforce. And the complexity of mental health and addictions issues, and the over representation of Māori in need of mental health services are factors that mean the sector requires a well-supported nursing workforce in order to deliver high quality mental health care.

Chair of the NZNO mental health section Helen Garrick, says that the combination of a decade of underfunding, growing demand and increasing complexity of need means the workforce is at ‘breaking point’ and these factors are combining to staff feeling increasingly unsafe.

“Our recent survey of members found main concerns were high caseloads, low staffing levels, inadequate community and inpatient services and insufficient inpatient beds,” Ms Garrick said.

“We also call for the working environment and overall environment for inpatients to be better suited to modern-day needs and believe this will make the environment safer for all.

“The workplace nurses are coming into is too often unsafe. Over 71% of survey respondents report feeling unsafe at work this survey will be a good way to examine this further,” she said.

Staff working for a district health board, non-government organisation and primary care mental health services across the country will be invited to complete the survey during August 2018 and it can be done anonymously.

ENDS.

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