Nurses say staffing shortages in San Francisco hospitals affect patient safety

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

May 28, 2014

With a contract about to expire in about 5 weeks, nurses with the San Francisco Department of Public Health say staff shortages are causing major dangers to patient safety, according to a report on the news website The San Francisco Appeal.
Nurses working with Service Employees International Union Local 1021 are threatening to strike after the current contract expires on June 30, claiming that the city’s public health department employs 94 to 304 fewer nurses than it should and that the budget has funds to hire far more workers, according to the report.
The report quotes union officials as saying the union will hold a strike authorization vote on the week of June 9. The latest allegations come on the heels of the case of Lynne Spalding Ford, who went missing from San Francisco General Hospital was found dead in one of the stairwells weeks last October. While union officials cite that case as an example of how patient safety is affected, hospital officials maintain that inadequate staffing was not a factor in the Spaulding case.