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167 PER CENT INCREASE IN WOLLONGONG HOSPITAL ASSAULTS

October 16, 2018

NSW Labor has pledged to appoint an additional 250 security staff at local hospitals across New South Wales to protect medical staff, patients and visitors.

 

The announcement comes as statistics show that there has been a spike in assaults at Wollongong Hospital over the last 12 months.

 

Figures indicate that assaults between June 2017 and June 2018 have increased by 166.6 per cent.

 

Labor’s four-point plan includes:

 

  • Employing an additional 250 Health Security Staff in its first term;
  • Upgrading all hospital security officers to “Health Security Staff” with additional powers similar to Special Constables who can carry weapons such as pepper spray and batons;
  • Providing extra training for Health Security Staff, including skills to defuse hostile situations; and
  • Creating a specialist Secure Hospitals Unit within NSW Health to oversee the activity of new health security staff and conduct safety audits of the State’s more than 200 hospitals - especially the State’s more than 80 emergency departments.

 

Wollongong MP, Paul Scully praised the Health Services Union (HSU) for campaigning so strongly on this community safety issue at local hospitals.

 

 

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

 

“Wollongong Hospital should not be a fight club.

 

“It is simply unacceptable that medical staff, patients and visitors to Wollongong Hospital have been subject to violence and assault.

 

“Figures show there has been a 167 per cent increase in incidents of violence at Wollongong Hospital over the last 12 months alone.

 

“It’s time to act on stopping assaults at our hospitals across New South Wales.

 

“Hospitals are places for treating the sick and injured and getting patients back to good health.

 

“Hospitals are not places where anyone should feel it is appropriate to assault doctors, nurses, other patients, carers and visitors.

 

“I’m very pleased that NSW Labor has announced a policy to employ an additional 250 security staff, as well as providing new equipment and training to defuse hostile situations.

 

“The HSU has strongly campaigned on this issue in the interests of increasing public safety at our local hospital facilities.”

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