Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
What is the current number of nursing positions vacant across Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital and North West Regional Hospital?
Are these positions to be filled with nurses on contracts? If so, for how many hours will these contracts be?
If these contracts are for 32 hours per week or less, what is the rationale behind this, given most nurses work substantially more than this on a regular basis
Are these positions full-time permanent positions?
Across the abovementioned hospitals, how many nurses are currently on contracts of 32 hours or less?
Mr President, I thank the member for Launceston for her question.
(1) to (5)
Vacant position data captures positions at various stages of the recruitment process - from an advertised position right through to the stage of a job offer accepted with an employee yet to commence.
As such, the Department of Health's data represents a point of time within the Tasmanian Health Service - THS - recruitment process rather than a true reflection of vacancies that are yet to be recruited to.
There were over 2600 applications for a range of nursing positions within THS in 2018, and the current turnover rate for THS nursing positions is less than 6 per cent. This is the lowest turnover rate since the 2013-14 financial year and well down on the 2015 rate of over 7 per cent.
I am advised that as at 30 June 2019, nursing vacancies at the hospital included a mix of fixed-term and permanent full-time and part-time positions. There were 169 FTEs at Royal Hobart Hospital; 72 FTEs at LGH; and 35 FTEs at North West Regional Hospital.
As at 30 June 2019, approximately 40 per cent of fixed-term and permanent nursing staff in the Tasmanian Health Service were contracted to work 32 hours per week or less, due in part to the nature of the roles required as well as staff preferences to work part-time.