Swedish Health nurses, caregivers issue vote of no confidence against leadership

Seattle-based Swedish Health Services nurses and other caregivers issued a vote of no confidence against leadership at Swedish Health and its parent company during a meeting Tuesday evening, arguing patient care has continued to suffer despite promises to instill change across the health system, The Seattle Times reports.

Swedish Health nurses and caregivers belonging to the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union voiced a range of issues during Tuesday's meeting, with 1,547 nurses and caregivers supporting the issuance of a vote of no confidence. Among those issues were concerns about supply and staff shortages, equipment failure, and the general treatment of patients. They also mentioned how staff inexperience and low morale have continued to cause substantial turnover, the report states.

One nurse reportedly noted that while leadership has focused their attention on fixing issues at the health system's Cherry Hill campus following numerous complaints, issues at other campuses have languished without attention, according to the report.

In a statement to KomoNews.com, R. Guy Hudson, CEO of Swedish Health Services, said, "As CEO, I welcome feedback from all our caregivers. Our collaboration helps us make Swedish the best place to work and receive care. I believe in uniting our people to serve our Swedish mission together. We welcome constructive, data-driven conversations with our union partners. A disruptive approach and an us-vs.-them mentality benefits no one, certainly not our patients."

However, some nurses said despite Dr. Hudson's positive vision for change at the institution, the overall culture at Swedish Health has not changed, because other administrators with differing visions are still in charge, according to The Seattle Times.

The nurses union said it plans to file 22 new complaints with local, state and federal regulators against Swedish Health and its parent company, Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services, to force officials to make a meaningful effort to induce change, according to KomoNews.com.

To read Dr. Hudson's full statement to KomoNews.com, click here.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 10:10 a.m. Dec. 14 to include additional information from the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union.

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