THE Hervey Bay Hospital has been regularly breaking budget throughout 2015 from hiring temporary nurses to meet growing demand in the intensive care unit.  

The hospital announced yesterday what it hoped to be a permanent fix with an additional 3.69 full time equivalent nursing positions in the intensive care unit in the New Year.  

That means at least one additional nurse will be rostered onto each shift in the high dependence unit.  

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service CEO Adrian Pennington said the additional nurses for the unit would cost almost $450,000 each year.  

"That could be approximately four or five additional nursing posts within this organisation and we are really excited about being able to increase our staffing numbers," he said.  

Mr Pennington said the additional staff was also good news for patients.  

"Effectively by increasing the number of staff in a high dependency area essentially the standard of care will improve," he said.  

"We have basically been running over budget over the previous 12 months so we have been bringing staff in on a temporary basis."  

WBHHS board chairman Dominic Devine said the recruitment was part of a strong commitment to the Hervey Bay community.  

"Hervey Bay Hospital patients receive outstanding care in the intensive care unit and this additional staffing will provide additional support to the staff and their patients in the unit," he said.  

"It is important that the WBHHS continually assesses its staffing across various units to ensure it meets the needs of local patients.  

"The decision to employ extra nurses at the ICU is an example of the WBHHS responding to the ever-evolving needs of its patients and underlines its continuing commitment to providing the best care possible to the Hervey Bay community."  



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