The nurses' union's push for an urgent increase in staffing at the Launceston General Hospital's emergency department will reach the Tasmanian Industrial Commission next month.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has an ongoing application for a staffing increase of 21.43 full-time equivalent at the LGH to address workload caused by bed block.
The Industrial Commission will convene a conciliation meeting with the union and Tasmanian Health Service on May 7 in an attempt to mediate an outcome.
It comes as the union continues to raise concerns regarding workplace conditions for staff and patients. Last week a 93-year-old woman waited five hours in LGH ED waiting room alone.
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Following an inquest into the death of Geoffrey Raymond Murray, Coroner Olivia McTaggart recommended a range of improvements to triage at the hospital, including better practices in monitoring the whereabouts of triaged patients.
Since then, the THS has added a new role at the LGH to improve communication with patients in the waiting room, according to a spokesperson.
"The LGH reviewed the system for keeping patients informed of the progress of their treatment in response to the coroner's recommendations," the spokesperson said.
"The LGH has introduced a new nursing role, the Clinical Initiative Nurse (CIN). The functions of the CIN include liaising with patients in the waiting area on a regular basis and reassessing needs and communicating with them on the timing of their care and any other concerns they may have."
Additional FTE staff were also provided on the back of a benchmarking process in 2020.
ANMF Tasmania secretary Emily Shepherd said the union was "very supportive" of the introduction of the CIN, but it would not address fundamental issues affecting the LGH ED.
"The reality is that it isn't enough. At times the waiting room is overflowing, patients are waiting hours while ramped, people are waiting so long because of access block, there just aren't enough inpatient beds," she said.
"There are still staffing concerns and workflow issues, that's why we have the application with the Industrial Commission.
"And it's important to reflect that our members do the absolute best they can with the resources that they have. There's still considerable workload demands on them."