We all agree working conditions on the hospital ramps are appalling.
In April 2019 we wrote to the health minister and WorkSafe Tasmania with major safety concerns about ramping including the absence of strict protocols, lack of amenities and concerns about your safety and patient safety.
In September 2019 the southern region health & safety reps issued a Provisional Improvement Notice about the issue, which in our view was illegally cancelled by WorkSafe Tasmania, and the HSRs and HACSU have been keeping up the pressure because ramping clearly hasn’t been resolved – there have actually been times recently when it’s been described as ‘as bad as ever’.
Well the news is out, and WorkSafe Tasmania wrote to us yesterday to confirm they will “undertake site inspections over coming weeks at peak times” – so a full year after they cancelled the PIN they’re only now looking into the issue to specifically check that improved patient flow procedures are working.
One must question how safety concerns were ‘resolved’ prior to these new systems of work – in fact, the regulator isn’t sure they are working so now wants to view them in action.
What is critical here is that paramedics should be operating within their scope of practice, and doing ‘extras’ like taking patients to X-Ray or combining multiple ramped patients, allowing nurses and doctors to commence treatment before a clinical handover etc is enabling the hospital to function, with non-hospital workers taking the highest levels of risk - unfortunately this is you.