Several healthcare organisations and nursing homes have pledged to support nurses against increasing violence in the workplace.
Following several serious assaults in hospitals and car parks in recent years, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) has partnered with Crime Stoppers and health care sites across the State to create a safer working environment for health care staff.
Among the 40 organisations who have signed on are ACH Group - In Home Care South, Murray Mallee Aged Care, Country Health SA, Murray Bridge Soldiers' Memorial Hospital & Health Service, Strathalbyn and Districts Health Services and Sportsmed SA.
CEO/Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Elizabeth Dabars AM said more needs to be done to protect frontline healthcare workers than the protections currently in place.
“While we welcome SA Health’s commitment to the early implementation of anti-violence policies as part of our recent Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, the reality is health care workers are facing the risk of physical harm every time they go to work. Our members urgently need action now and not more timelines for implementation plans to be enacted,” Ms Dabars said.
A key part of the initiative is the placement of prominent signage, displaying Crime Stoppers contact details as well police and emergency numbers in high-risk areas, providing a practical resource to encourage people to take a proactive role in community safety.
“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."
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 wanting to harm others.
“We know from recent national research that 81% of Australians believe the option to remain anonymous is incredibly important,” Mr Day said.
“We also want people to step up when an unknown attacker has been caught on CCTV and share what they know to hold that person to account, because rarely are these crimes committed in isolation. Maybe you’ve heard someone in your social circle talking about involvement in an attack, perhaps they have property that isn’t theirs, maybe they match the description of a suspect – that’s when contacting Crime Stoppers can make all the difference.”
If someone sees a crime occurring or needs police assistance, they should call 000 in an emergency or 131 444 to have police attend.
For anyone who has information about an unsolved crime or suspicious behaviour they can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or share what they know at www.crimestoppers.com.au.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels