WA Country Health Service cuts Wyndham Hospital opening hours amid acute staff shortage

Stephanie SinclairThe Kimberley Echo
Wyndham District Hospital located in Wyndham in the East Kimberley, Western Australia. 7 MAY 2021
Camera IconWyndham District Hospital located in Wyndham in the East Kimberley, Western Australia. 7 MAY 2021 Credit: Danella Bevis The West Australian

The Western Australian Country Health Service has reduced opening hours at Wyndham Hospital as it deals with a critical nursing shortage.

From Monday, the hospital’s opening times will be reduced from 7:30am to 7:30pm, with on-call emergency assistance available after hours.

WACHS announced the reduced opening hours this afternoon, attributing the change to a severe staffing shortage following “a number of security incidents in the community”.

It comes after multiple alleged break-ins and violent incidents at the hospital’s staff accommodation within the past month, which have resulted in several nurse resignations.

WACHS regional director Bec Smith said the temporary change in opening hours was an interim solution to manage staffing at the hospital while a recruitment drive continued.

"We're working closely with community stakeholders to ensure patient care is not compromised,” she said.

"It is important the community know help is available if they need it.”

Ms Smith said those who require urgent after-hour care would be able to present to Wyndham Hospital, where a security guard would be present to alert an on-call nurse.

She said non-urgent assistance could be sought from Kununurra Hospital.

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