Naracoorte Health Service joins statewide anti-violence campaign

STOP THE HARM: State health care workers, including those at Naracoorte Health Service, deserve better. Photo: Web
STOP THE HARM: State health care workers, including those at Naracoorte Health Service, deserve better. Photo: Web

Alarmingly, violence against nurses and midwives across SA's health settings is on the rise and sadly includes a report of a nurse left with a stab wound to her neck in 2019.

The confronting reality has prompted the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) SA branch to join with Crime Stoppers to prevent harm of it's frontline health care workers.

Pleasingly, Naracoorte Health Service is among the 40 SA health sites to so far register with the initiative launched on July 29.

A key part of the new initiative is the placement of prominent signage, displaying Crime Stoppers contact details as well police and emergency numbers in high-risk areas.

Furthermore, it urges people to take a proactive role in community safety.

Naracoorte health team's aim is to continue to create a safer working environment for all health care staff.

"Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff and patients, and any acts of violence towards our staff are not tolerated," an SA Health spokesperson said on behalf of the Naracoorte Health Service.

The ANMF say that while health care workers have been lauded by the community as heroes, especially in response to COVID-19, sadly, they are also the victim to assaults from patients and community members.

These incidents not only occur while nurses, midwives and personal care workers provide care, but also as they arrive or leave their workplace.

Crime Stoppers CEO Mark Day said everyone has a responsibility to keep their eyes and ears open to identify and put a stop to those from harming others.

"We know from recent national research that 81 per cent of Australians believe the option to remain anonymous is incredibly important," Mr Day said.

...we hope that people will share what they know to make sure our nurses and frontline health staff stay safe.

Crime Stoppers CEO Mark Day

He added that on average 25 crimes are solved each week in the state due to information provided by the community to Crime Stoppers.

"...we hope that people will share what they know to make sure our nurses and frontline health staff stay safe," Mr Day said.

ANMF CEO Professor Elizabeth Dabars said the initiative reinforces their commitment of practical and effective measures to address violence in the workplace.

"We acknowledge that signage alone is not a solution to fixing the issue of violence facing health professionals, however, it is a practical step that may deter criminal activities," she said.

"Our members urgently need action now and not more timelines for implementation plans to be enacted."

In addition, SA Health also reveal their work which includes Managing Actual and Potential Aggression (MAPA) training currently being rolled out to support health staff in metropolitan and regional areas.

This in on top of additional training in aggression, violence techniques to help staff de-escalate any threats to themselves, their patients or colleagues.

Meanwhile, if the public witness a crime occurring or require police assistance, please call 000 in an emergency or 131 444 to have police attend.

For anyone who has information about an unsolved crime or suspicious behaviour, can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or share what they know at www.crimestoppers.com.au.