Nurses ‘distressed’ over Townsville job cuts

Monday 29th October, 2012

The Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) says 35 nursing jobs will be axed at Townsville Hospital in the state's north next month.

The State Government announced in September that 45 jobs would go as part of cost cutting.

QNU assistant secretary Des Elder says the first redundancies will be handed out next month.

"Clearly people are very distressed - it's causing them a great deal of difficulty in day-to-day working lives now knowing that they will no longer have a job come November 15," he said.

"What we're going to see over time is problems with the service provision."

Meanwhile, the QNU says it is worried the loss of a specialist aged care nursing program will put more demand on Townsville Hospital beds.

The union says the program, where a senior nurse visits aged care homes to prevent hospital visits, is about to be terminated as part of a restructure of hospital services.

Mr Elder says the role is a front-line job designed to ease pressure on the hospital.

"Those residents when they get ill and require treatment, they will be progressively admitted to the hospital," he said.

"That is going to cause problems in terms of bed availability for acute care patients and that's not what the Queensland Health mantra has been in recent times."

Queensland Health says the first redundancies will take effect from December and will not affect standards.

It says no firm decision has been made on which positions will be made redundant.