The nurses’ union says it has escalated industrial action over staffing at the Launceston General Hospital.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation secretary Emily Shepherd said the Health and Community Services Union had also been asked and had agreed to join the nurses’ campaign.
“Our members are feeling very dejected and decided to escalate industrial action,” Ms Shepherd said.
“They are now wearing badges, t-shirts and also handing out public information flyers to patients and their families.”
Ms Shepherd said the daily vigils outside the hospital would continue and a community rally would be held in the next month.
“ANMF members are still struggling with a challenging environment in the LGH emergency department and continue to have concerns about the safety and quality of care their patients are receiving,” she said.
“There is bed block and while ward 4D has re-opened we need it to be permanently staffed and to have 29 beds.
“Nurses are doing double shifts and overtime and it can’t continue.”
HACSU assistant secretary Robbie Moore said his union was pleased to support nurses in their campaign.
“We need to get adequate resources at the LGH because there is a crisis there that needs to be addressed,” Mr Moore said.
Department of Health secretary Michael Pervan said the issues raised by unions were being taken very “seriously” and were being addressed.
“Through constructive ongoing engagement between unions and the department, there is some good progress being made,” Mr Pervan said.
“Proposals to open additional beds and other measures to support staff have been agreed and we will have more to say soon.”