Grafton hospital ward not closing

GRAFTON Base Hospital's Level Three renal and medical ward has been rumoured to be under threat of closing for the past few months, but according to North Coast Area Health Service Chief Executive, Chris Crawford, the whispers are wrong.

His answer to the rumours yesterday was a straight: “Grafton Base Hospital (GBH) Level 3 is not going to close.”

Mr Crawford did say that a restructure of the current staffing situation at the hospital was underway and a list of positions being considered for deletion has been released for consultation only at this stage.

“This document has been distributed to the Health Services Union and staff as part of the consultation process,” he said.

“The deletion of positions is spread throughout the whole North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS). Those services, whose performance has been shown to be less efficient, are more likely to lose positions than those services that are proving to be more efficient.

“Positions are first identified from the administrative, support and corporate categories, to ensure the impact on clinical service provision is minimized.

“Clinical service staffing is being benchmarked and compared to relevant staffing ratios, such as reasonable nursing workloads and where staffing levels are above benchmarks or ratios, it is proposed to bring them back to these levels while maintaining services.

“A proposed restructure of management positions is being considered as part of the fulltime equivalent (FTE) review, with a view to reducing the number of management positions in the NCAHS. This includes the management structure of the Clarence Network, which includes GBH.

“No final decisions have been made on which positions will be deleted from the NCAHS Staffing Structure. These decisions will be made after the consultation process has been undertaken.

“The reorganisation of staff within the NCAHS is being carried out to improve the efficient delivery of services.”



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