Message from ANF State Secretary Mark Olson.
Dear ANF members and other supporters of legislated nurse-to-patient ratios
The State Election has come and gone, and your involvement in our campaign was absolutely key to everything we achieved, but we will soon need you again for the next stage.
The good news is the new WA Labor Government has told the Australian Nursing Federation it is open to exploring how nurses' workload concerns can be addressed – which is an important step towards our goal of having ratios made part of the law.
That's on top of our campaign achieving valuable public support and awareness of the need for legislated nurse-to-patient ratios to protect patient safety – with rules such as having no more than four patients per nurse on a general ward on day shifts, and having more nurses when higher levels of care are needed.
Our campaign was so broad and wide-ranging, there would be few West Australians who wouldn't now know the "No More Than Four" slogan.
Also during this campaign we achieved a commitment by the new Government to remove performance appraisals, which means nurses and midwives can spend more time with patients, rather than wasting valuable hours and millions of dollars of public money on useless meetings and paperwork that do nothing for standards or safety.
And we got a commitment from both major parties that they won't touch penalty rates for nurses, midwives and carers, which removes a big source of concern for health workers.
Importantly, our campaign also revealed the candidates and parties who support legislated ratios – so we know who our friends are on this issue, and we know who remains to be persuaded. We will keep our supporters' names posted on this website, because no matter whether they are now in Parliament, or have lost their bid for seats, the ANF will remind whomever among them continues in political life of their commitment to ratios. And in coming months, we will do whatever we can to leverage that support to achieve safer hospitals in WA.
Later this year, the next stage of our ratios campaign begins – I will keep you informed about developments on this website, and also by email for ANF members. And I look forward to working with you all to achieve a law that ensures there are enough nurses on WA hospital wards to safely care for their patients.