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For years, ANMF (Vic Branch) has been working to improve the safety of nurses and midwives working in our Victorian hospitals and public health care facilities.
Monash University recently conducted a survey of our members on the level of violence and aggression in our hospitals and it returned alarming results.
Nearly 70 per cent of around 5,000 respondents reported experiencing violence or aggression at work in the past year, with a quarter of those reporting experiencing violence or aggression on a regular basis.
These statistics represent just the tip of the iceberg as we know violence and aggression in health settings is grossly under reported and prosecuted.
Violence is not a part of nurses’ and midwives’ jobs.
Members can report occupational violence and aggression incidents to the Branch through our webform after also reporting it through the formal channels at your facility.
In a move to stop the unacceptable number of assaults, the Branch has developed a 10-point plan to end violence and aggression in our healthcare facilities.
The 10-point plan outlines the necessary actions required to improve security and implement proactive measures to identify and address risks. It also aims to improve the reporting culture in our hospitals and improve the tools to assist with reporting and investigation. Riskman is glaringly inadequate.
It also advocates appropriate support following violent workplace incidents.
10 point plan summary
1. Improve security
2. Identify risk to staff and others
3. Include family in the development of patient care plans
4. Ensure violent incidents are reported, investigated and acted upon
5. Prevent violence through workplace design
6. Provide education and training to healthcare staff
7. Integrate legislation, policies and procedures in a state-wide approach
8. Provide post-incident support
9. Apply anti-violence approach across all healthcare disciplines
10. Empower staff to expect a safe workplace
Moves by the State Government to increase penalties for such assaults are welcome and we support sentencing that reflects the gravity of this offence.
However the overwhelming evidence from Australia and overseas demonstrates that mandatory minimum sentencing does not reduce crime or act as a deterrent, and may lead to increased crime rates in the long run, as people who are imprisoned are more likely to re-offend.
We believe our 10-point plan will be effective, as it is underpinned by our extensive knowledge of the sector and solid research.