Cleaners cover for Patient Care Assistants at Armadale-Kelmscott Hospital

June 24th, 2012 by: admin

Sunday 24 Jun 2012

Staff shortages at Armadale-Kelmscott Hospital meant cleaners have been forced to perform tasks usually undertaken by Patient Care Assistants, Shadow Health Minister Roger Cook said today.

Mr Cook said he had received complaints from hospital staff that cleaners were asked to perform Patient Care Assistant duties on days when Patient Care Assistants phoned in sick or did not turn up to work.

“Instead of sourcing other Patient Care Assistants to fill the staffing gaps, it’s understood cleaners are regularly asked to pick up the slack,” Mr Cook said.

“This dangerous practice is putting patients at risk.

“Patient Care Assistants are often the first line of patient care and are required to assist hospital staff in their duties. They are required to have a working knowledge of hospital wards and in many cases are relied on to assist when patients become violent or need to be restrained.

“There is simply no excuse to force people with no training to stand in for them due to staffing shortages and this should not be allowed to occur under any circumstances.

“The Barnett Government must immediately investigate these claims and act to ensure Armadale-Kelmscott Hospital is provided with the staff and resources it needs to provide first class patient care.”

Mr Cook said the lack of Patient Care Assistants was symptomatic of widespread staff shortages facing Western Australian hospitals.

“Western Australian hospitals are under enormous pressure to cuts costs and this is having a direct impact on patient and staff care,” he said.

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