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Clinical Records Staff To Act On Safety

Tuesday 21 September 2003

Clinical Records Staff To Act On Safety

“Clinical Records staff at Christchurch Hospital have decided to take action to protect their health and safety and deal with the impact of the decision to cut 12 staff in the Clinical Records Department (CRD),” said Martin Cooney, Organiser of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. The CDHB decided last week to not renew three temporary workers contracts and make twelve clinical records staff redundant from February 2005.

“In February 2003, the CDHB OSH representative investigated and outlined serious health and safety concerns in the CRD,” said Martin Cooney. “The reduction of 12 full time equivalent staff members in the CRD can only make that worse. Hospital management are now encouraging staff to leave CRD before February and will not replace them. This is creating an immediate and unacceptable increase in workload and stress on remaining staff ”

“Currently the well advertised problems in the Emergency Department (ED) in coping with the numbers of patients has also had a flow-on to the Clinical Records Department,” said Martin Cooney. “Every patient that comes through the doors of ED must have a record provided – these often have to be collected from other sites. With fewer CRD staff, this is adding to the stress.”

“Our Union is currently compiling a list of tasks that will not be undertaken by our members,” said Martin Cooney. “Our Union is also informing management that they will need to ensure the tasks are done by others. This is to safeguard patient safety by ensuring clinical staff get the records they require to assess treatment for those patients in a timely fashion. The action will commence once clinical and other staff have been informed.”

ENDS

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