NURSES say they fear for patient safety at Muswellbrook hospital, where one supervisor is working between emergency and high-dependency units.
State guidelines require an overseer in each area, the NSW Nurses Association said.
Hunter New England Local Health District says it is reviewing staff requirements and rostering additional nurses where needed.
The union and Hunter New England Health took the matter to the Industrial Relations Commission yesterday.
Nurses had considered closing some hospital beds in protest over the staffing matter, but the commission recommended against that action.
Nurses Association organiser Michael Whaites said Hunter New England Health put a proposal yesterday that would provide an extra nurse for four hours, with the option of extending the time to eight hours or longer if needed.
‘‘We have still got concerns about a solitary registered nurse being responsible for the high-dependency unit and the emergency department,’’ Mr Whaites said.
A review of night duty staffing levels was also discussed.
Mr Whaites said nurses remained concerned about the delivery of safe patient care.
Hunter New England Health had requested six months to do the review, but the union wants it done sooner.
The association will take the health service’s proposal to its members today for a vote, and report back to the commission on Friday.
Hunter New England Health chief executive Michael Di Rienzo said Muswellbrook District Health Service had agreed to some interim arrangements. An additional registered nurse was rostered for evening shifts.