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Murray member Helen Dalton said she would support a bill that would ratio nurses to patients | District News

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An independent member of Murray, MP Helen Dalton has responded to the difficult situation in Griffith’s maternity ward as the staffing crisis looms and the potential loss of the chamber continues. Ms Dalton was in the New Wales Parliament on 31 March when nurses and midwives joined in a 24-hour strike for better conditions and more staff on the floors. Instead of attending Griffith’s rally, Mrs. Dalton attended a protest rally by the NSW Union of Nurses and Midwives in Sydney. She revealed that the New Wales government is urgently recruiting temporary nurses to work at Griffith Base Hospital to ease pressure on existing staff after a very unsettling Tuesday that nearly led to seven mothers and their children being forced to move to Wagga. “It’s unbelievable that an 80,000-person base hospital – an area the size of Scotland – could be left without maternity services. But that’s how serious the rural crisis has become,” said Mrs. Dalton. RELATED Green MP Kate Ferman announced yesterday that she would introduce a bill that would legislate for the number of nurses and patients, which is an important requirement of the NSW Association of Nurses and Midwives. Mrs. Dalton confirmed that they would support the bill. “The Kate Fireman project will get my support … The nurses are absolutely overwhelmed, and if you’re on the border, you’re more likely to get a job in other states,” she said. “I’m trying to put pressure on the government to change it, the community needs to be aware of what’s going on.” On March 22, due to a shortage of staff, only two midwives worked in the ward, which should have at least three, and ideally four. “If something had happened to just one of these midwives on duty, all seven mothers would have been transferred to Wagga,” said Mrs. Dalton. READ MORE: She added that parliament’s efforts to hire temporary staff were only temporary. “In response to the recent public outcry, the government is trying to recruit temporary staff to close the gaps … If they do not raise wage rates, improve incentives in rural areas and address a culture of bullying, it will continue.” During a strike in Griffith, NSW State Nurses and Midwives Secretary Christy Wilson assured attendees that the maternity ward would not close, hopefully putting an end to recent rumors. “I want to make it clear right now that this is not the case. We certainly don’t know about it,” Ms Wilson said. Our journalists make every effort to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can access our trusted content:

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