Brigham and Women's nurses accuse leaders of defying state order limiting surgeries 

Brigham and Women's nurses represented by the Massachusetts Nurse Association are accusing hospital leaders at Mass General Brigham of breaking COVID-19-related state orders to limit the number of surgeries and are asking the state to investigate, The Boston Globe reported Dec. 13.

A union statement read, "Brigham nurses do not believe Mass General Brigham is complying with the DPH’s order to maintain 15% staff bed availability or to reduce by 30% (and further to 50% as of December 15) non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures from the 2019 volume." 

The union said the hospital's noncompliance was evidenced by lack of patient beds, long patient wait times for emergency surgery and prioritization of cosmetic and nonessential procedures. 

"Almost every day, the operating room starts without enough core staff. The continued high volume of procedures, combined with the staffing and skill mix problems, is negatively impacting the quality of patient care and burning out the nursing workforce," read the letter the union sent to the state's health department Dec. 13. 

Brigham denied it is not complying with state rules about surgeries. In a statement to the Boston Globe, spokesperson Lori Schroth said, "We are carefully balancing against the need to avoid contributing to the wave of patients that we are now seeing who require more intense care as a result of previously deferred care."


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