WESTFIELD, Mass., Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of more than 460 community members distributed by the registered nurses of Baystate Noble Hospital shows overwhelming public support for keeping care local, ensuring safe patient care, and supporting Noble nurses as they fight for preserving and improving hospital services and patient care conditions.
Noble nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, circulated the survey digitally to Westfield area residents before and during ongoing contract negotiations with Baystate Health management. The survey, which received 464 total responses, helped inform nurses as they generated contract proposals. The results also prompted nurses to join with State Senator John Velis to host a virtual community forum.
Virtual Community Forum on the Future of Baystate Noble Hospital
When: 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6
Where: A virtual forum hosted on Zoom and shared on social media. The public and media are welcome to participate. Sign up to receive an email invitation: www.massnurses.org/NobleForum.
Who: State Senator John Velis will host the forum with the RNs of Baystate Noble Hospital and it will include RN and community advocates as panelists.
Ninety-seven percent of survey respondents said they "stand with Noble RNs to improve conditions for staff and patients and protect Noble Hospital's future." More than 90% of survey respondents support preserving and expanding inpatient mental health services and medical-surgical services at Noble, 89% percent support re-opening the intensive care unit and nearly 97% say if the Department of Public Health deems a Noble Hospital service essential, the service should remain open.
"Our community joins with nurses in saying yes to improved patient care conditions and preserving and expanding healthcare services," said Paul Dubin, RN and Co-Chair of the Baystate Noble MNA Bargaining Committee. "This community survey and our upcoming public forum stand in stark contrast to the behind-closed-doors planning by Baystate Health executives. We urge Noble President Ron Bryant to participate in the forum and respond to the needs of our nurses, patients and community."
Nurses grew increasingly concerned last year as Baystate management unilaterally made or proposed significant changes to the Noble hospital services. Baystate closed the intensive care units at Noble and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer last August, and has announced a second for-profit partner to open a new mental health facility and close the Fowler Unit at Noble as well as all the mental health beds at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and at Wing Hospital. Last fall, Baystate also merged Baystate Noble's 2N medical-surgical unit with telemetry and cut the majority of 2N staff.
A Survey Monkey survey was circulated on social media, targeted to members of the Westfield area communities, between December 2019 and August 2020.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association