NSW public health workers spend their lives striving to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe and healthy.
Unfortunately, it seems that the sector may not be doing the same for the workers themselves.
In November 2016, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced a review into the safety procedures of NSW public hospitals to address growing concerns of violence in the industry.
Former Health and Police Minister Peter Anderson has now released an Interim Report on the matter, in which he contends that health workers aren’t provided with clear enough procedures for dealing with safety risks.
‘In almost every consultation I have undertaken, I have been advised that there is a “culture” of under-reporting in IIMS [Incident Information Management System] of incidents relating to violence and aggression against staff, particularly in EDs,’ he states.
The report recommendations include the mandating a new cultural protocol in which hospital employees are made aware that they are entitled, legally and morally, to the same safety protection as hospital patients.
Alongside the review, the NSW Government has invested $24 million into the improvement of hospital security technologies, including upgrades of CCTV systems and installation of remote locking/personal duress alarms.
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