NSW hospital threatened with staff strike over poor conditions

Date:Dec 12, 2018

Just a month after its grand opening, Sydney's newest medical establishment, Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH), is already dealing with a number of significant issues - and latest revelations show that the problems have only just begun.

String of high-profile resignations just the tip of the iceberg

Under-trained staff, lack of medicine and no body bags are just three issues that have come to light in the days since the hospital opened its doors. However, in recent days, problems within the anaesthesia department have been at the forefront of media reports.

Last week, head of anaesthetics at NBH Alistair Boyce resigned from his position after concerns regarding the department's stance on patient care. This is the latest in a string of high profile resignations. Just days before, both the Director of Medical Services and the CEO stepped down amid allegations of staff misconduct and failure to address serious concerns.

Patients at risk of harm on NBH operating table

The story of one patient admitted to NBH has contributed to allegations of medical negligence. Mrs McCrank was rushed to the hospital after encountering bleeding when 34 weeks pregnant. She required an emergency caesarean. However, a procedure that should have taken 15 minutes resulted in the patient becoming unconscious after staff failed to correctly identify where the blood needed to come from. An anaesthetist had to intervene to save Ms McCrank's life.

The patient described the events as chaotic, and staff even contributed stating that the outcome of the procedure was life-threatening. Hospital staff blamed poor rostering, lack of appropriate equipment and poorly trained staff for Mrs McCrank's ordeal. However, anaesthetists believe nothing is being done to address these early concerns.

Anaesthetists taking action

In a bid to make their voices heard, anaesthetists at NBH have threatened to cancel all elective surgeries if their concerns are not addressed and appropriate action taken. At a meeting attended by NBH operator 'Heathscope', staff put forward urgent requests for the provider to fix all systemic problems within a week or they would go on strike. They agreed the hospital was not currently operating safely and were putting patients like Mrs McCrank at risk of serious harm. 

Unfortunately, NBH isn't the only institution that faces reports of medical negligence. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a medical establishment's breached duty of care, you may be eligible for compensation. Get in touch with the legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners and see how we can help with the process.

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