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Aged care staff cuts in the South Burnett

There have been cuts to several South Burnett facilities.
There have been cuts to several South Burnett facilities. Bev Lacey

NURSES are about to have their work hours cut at two South Burnett aged care facilities.

Catholic organisation Southern Cross Care announced wide-ranging staff cuts across 11 of their facilities last month.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union regional organiser Jennifer Ballantyne said she understood around 200 hours would be cut at the Castra facility in Murgon, while about 100 hours would be cut at the Karinya facility in Nanango.

"It's a Catholic charity and it's supposed to be not-for-profit, however this is a slash and burn across all facilities,” Ms Ballantyne said.

"It's not just nurses, it's operational, hospitality, gardeners, it's right across the board, slashed, the whole lot of them.”

Ms Ballantyne said the union's main concern was the impact nursing cuts would have on residents.

"We have major concerns for the residents in regards to medication standards,” she said.

"It's the QMNU's view that there should be a registered nurse on all shifts, though that is not the case in a number of Southern Cross facilities. They have one on call though.

"We can't see how they can safely provide medication to patients if they aren't on the site. If it was my uncle, aunt, or grandparents, I wouldn't be happy.”

Southern Cross Care chief of integrated service delivery Vicki Eckart said the restructure of staff levels was about being sustainable and efficient. .

"In some cases, this will mean some staff have their allocated working hours reduced, while others may have their hours increased,” Ms Eckart said.

"We are working with our loyal staff to ensure we minimise the impact on them and we sincerely regret any hardship that this necessary realignment may cause.”

Maranoa MP David Littleproud said the staff hour cuts had nothing to do with any Federal Government funding cuts.

"I must emphasise there's been no Federal Government funding cuts to Southern Cross Care,” Mr Littleproud said.

"Southern Cross Care has made a business decision.”

Topics:  aged care murgon nanango

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