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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 3130 asked in the Legislative Council on 18 August 2020 by Hon Martin Aldridge

Question Directed to the: Parliamentary Secretary representing the Minister for Health
Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

I refer to question on notice 2071, regarding WA Country Health Service (WACHS) nursing staff at hospitals and nursing posts, and I ask:
(a) what is the frequency and length of overtime conducted by nursing staff by site since April 2019 to date;
(b) has WACHS undertaken further data validation regarding providing lists for the 10 greatest shift lengths by location:
(i) if yes to (b), will the Minister please provide data since inception of reporting;
(c) which sites are relying upon agency nursing staff since April 2019, by site and cost;
(d) how many nursing positions were advertised by site from April 2019 to date, which have not been filled, and please identify the reason for not being able to fill the position; and
(e) what is the Government’s strategy and plan to address nurse shortages in regional locations?

Answered on 22 October 2020

I am advised:

(a) See tabled paper no.


(b) No further internal data validation has been undertaken. Nursing management resources would need to be diverted from patient care delivery and the COVID-19 response to seek explanations (which are not recorded in the system) on shift lengths.

(i) Not applicable.


(c) See tabled paper no.



Occupancy status of positions advertised from April 2019 to August 2020


Advertised Vacancies / Positions currently occupied

Advertised Vacancies / Positions Not filled

Advertised Vacancies / Positions - Recruitment Ongoing





Great Southern
















South West









A total of 752 Advertisements relating to 471 unique nursing positions were advertised over the period 1 April 2019 to 18 August 2020.


Data Notes:

1. Nursing advert data provided by HSS based on information sourced from Thomson Reuters (RAMS Contract / Administrators).

2. Advert data has been broken down to positions advertised at a regional level.

3. Advert data has been linked against the current position establishment to determine occupancy status.

4. The 'Positions - Not Filled' column relates to advertised positions that are still substantively vacant in the position establishment.

5. Excludes adverts relating to suspended or abolished positions.

Of the positions listed as vacant as of 18 August 2020:

·         9 Positions have subsequently been filled.

·         17 Positions assessed had no suitable applicants.

·         1 Position was withdrawn.

·         1 Position was subject to the breach process.

·         2 Positions were suspended due to COVID-19.


(e) The WA Country Health Service is:

·         Supporting increased recruitment of entry level staff through formal Graduate Programs, a Transition to Practice Program for novices recruited directly into Emergency Departments is currently being trialled in the Pilbara. A Transition to Practice for perioperative services is planned for 2021 and direct appointment.

·         Encouraging flexible recruitment and appointment practices.

·         Central Office administered pools for Nurse Manager and Nurse Practitioner relief across the regions.

·         Ongoing management of the TRAVEL Program offering rotations of four months in different regions, participants can continue within the Program beyond the 12 months.

·         Working collaboratively with NurseWest to support filling shortfalls utilising NurseWest and Agency nurses in regional locations.