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Safe staffing and healthy workplaces a Ministry priority

6 August 2018

Ministry of Health’s acting Chief Nursing Officer Dr Jill Clendon says the safe staffing accord sends a clear message the health sector is committed to the safety of all staff and patients.

The accord, signed by the Minister of Health, the Ministry, district health boards and New Zealand Nurses Organisation, is a commitment to making sure there are enough nurses in public hospitals.

“Safe staffing and healthy workplaces are national priorities. That’s where the accord comes into effect,” says Dr Clendon.

The Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) programme currently matches the capacity to care with patient demand and is a whole-of-hospital approach to adjusting staffing levels.

Dr Clendon says this new accord provides the opportunity to build on existing work to get more nurses where they are needed.

“The new Multi-Employer Collective Agreement has now been signed and we can turn our attention to bringing on board an extra 500 nurses and addressing some of the concerns around care capacity that the workforce has identified.”

“We already have nurse entry to practice programmes and nurse entry to specialist programmes and we will be looking to build on those existing programmes. We will also be looking closely at enrolled nurses and their supported entry to practice programme as well.”

Dr Clendon says the Ministry is committed to working with its partners to ensure the accord is implemented effectively.

“A key part of ensuring the safety of staff and patients starts at recruitment. As part of this accord, we’ll also be looking into the recruitment of nurses – starting in our secondary schools – looking at attracting more people into nursing and how we can support those people across the nursing career pathway.”

Ultimately all of these activities will contribute to improving the care nurses are able to provide, building a strong, sustainable health system for all New Zealanders,” says Dr Clendon.

ENDS

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