Almost half of nurses feel unsafe at Capital and Coast DHB

The latest staff survey at Capital and Coast DHB, obtained under the Official Information Act, shows nearly half of nurses and midwives feel unsafe and unsupported at work.

Capital and Coast DHB serves a large part of the Wellington regions but its survey results are damning.

Forty-eight percent of the 800 nurses and midwives who responded to the survey disagreed with the statement, "My workplace feels supportive and safe."

Erin Kennedy from the nurses' union said staff are so stressed and tired they're more likely to make a medication error.

"I would be very concerned as a patient, and I'd be very concerned if any of my family members were in a hospital where staff felt unsafe," Ms Kennedy said.

"We have nurses around the hospital in tears every day. We have nurses who go home every day feeling terrible because they can't deliver the care they need to," she said.

Union organiser Georgia Choveaux said staff are so stressed they're at breaking point.

"Only 19 percent could report positively that they actually felt safe and supported."

The union puts the problem down to too much work and too few resources. 

"We need more staff to make patients and nurses feel safe", Ms Kennedy said.

When there's an adverse event, staff are required to document a "reportable event".  

But Ms Choveaux says staff "May not be engaging in reportable events because they know that until we get more funding, staffing will be an issue."

Capital and Coast DHB told Newshub:

"The survey has identified that many of our staff are feeling under pressure, and are experiencing or witnessing unwarranted behaviour. This is unacceptable and we are committed to addressing this."

Georgia Choveaux said Capital and Coast receives the lowest funding, per head of population, of any of the DHBs.