Hospital staff in protest

JUST days after a statewide strike calling for more security at hospitals, a man has been charged after allegedly assaulting a police officer outside Auburn Hospital.

Walk out over rise in assaults

On Sunday at 1am, a 20-year-old man insisted on travelling in an ambulance called to attend to a female patient at a home in Guildford, however shortly after arriving at Auburn Hospital he allegedly became aggressive with staff and was removed by security.
Officers from Auburn Police Area Command (PAC) issued him with a move on direction, but he allegedly refused and became involved in a physical altercation with them before pushing a senior constable, who suffered minor injuries.
The 20-year-old has been charged with assaulting a police officer in the execution of duty, refusing/failing to comply with direction and behaving in an offensive manner in/near public place.
STRIKING health workers say they’ve walked off the job because they care about patient safety.
Walking out for an hour at 11am on Thursday, August 1, Health Services Union (HSU) NSW sub branch secretary for Auburn Hospital, Greg Hope said 35 members from Auburn Hospital joined the statewide strike action calling for improvements to hospital security.
“Someone is going to lose their life and we don’t want it to be here,” he said.
“All we want to do is help people and have a safe work hospital for everyone, for whoever comes in, staff, patients and visitors.”
Supporting the action by HSU NSW members, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) acting general secretary, Judith Kiejda, said current violence prevention measures in hospitals and other health settings were clearly not a deterrent and it was time for the Government to act.
“It’s not normal to go into work expecting to be assaulted, yet that is what’s happening. Violent and aggressive behaviour has become so frequent that it has become normalised, which is not okay,” she said.
“We appreciate it is a complex issue and therefore requires a broad approach, but there are steps that could already be implemented to help tackle the problems and also address the concerns of workers.”
A NSW Health spokesperson said a trial of new security measures would proceed at a designated Local Health District site if the HSU complies with an agreement negotiated in the Industrial Relations Commission prior to the strike.
The spokesperson said action was also already underway on recommendations contained in an interim report delivered in February from a security review of NSW hospitals conducted by Peter Anderson, with the final report due in the last quarter of this year.