Stewart Dowrick
Stewart Dowrick Rob Wright/Coffs Coast Advocate

Health district responds to savage attack on hospital staff

Mid North Coast Local Health District has responded to the attack on staff at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

FULL STORY: Five staff attacked at Mid North Coast hospital

Stewart Dowrick, Chief Executive Mid North Coast Local Health District issued the following response on Wednesday afternoon:

Safety is paramount:

The safety of staff, patients and visitors to NSW public hospitals is paramount - there is never an excuse for violence in NSW Health facilities.

A full internal investigation is being undertaken into an incident at Port Macquarie Base Hospital in the early hours of Saturday, January 9 involving a patient and security staff.

The incident was reported to NSW Police who are investigating the matter.

Immediate medical assistance was provided to five staff members involved in the incident who have also received ongoing wellbeing support.

We continue to invest in our security services and in providing training to our staff in violence prevention and management strategies.

Since 2012, there has been a statewide increase in security staff of 225 (full-time equivalent) or 23 per cent.

Across NSW, $19 million has been invested to improve security in emergency departments at public hospitals, upgrading CCTV systems, improving access controls between public and staff areas and installing remote locking to public access doors.

In addition, more than $5 million has been invested to upgrade duress alarms for staff in emergency departments, which they are mandated to wear while on duty.

In NSW public hospitals there are more than 3,000 CCTV cameras in operation. NSW Health worked with NSW Police to improve the protocols governing the handover of violent patients. The updated Memorandum of Understanding is now in place and local procedures for management of violent patients are being reviewed.