Staff set to cease work over safety fears

• Staff demand violent resident is relocated
• Resident is the source of 200 formal violent and aggressive incident reports
• Management, state government and Premier given window to respond
• Staff to cease work on Thursday if no action is taken.

Staff members at a Warrnambool nursing home, under siege from a violent patient in their care, are calling on management and the state government to step in and address their serious safety issues or they will be forced to walk off the job.

ANMF (Vic Branch) members at Lyndoch Living’s Lakeside Lodge have today agreed that unless alternate living arrangements are made for a female resident, who has been at the centre of almost 200 formal violent and aggressive incident reports, they will cease work on Thursday 2 October at 1pm.

All other ANMF members will refuse to be redeployed to Lakeside Lodge due to the imminent risk to their health and safety.

Members demanded that the facility’s management begin work with the Department of Health immediately to find an appropriate specialist psychogeriatric facility for the resident, such as those available in Geelong.

Werribee’s South Stone Lodge would also have been a suitable alternative facility; however, it is due to be closed by Melbourne Health in December as part of the Napthine Government’s aged-care sell off.

Around 745 public aged care beds, including 108 devoted to mental health patients, have been closed or ear marked for sale by the state government since it came to power in November 2011.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Assistant Secretary Paul Gilbert said members are dismayed over Lyndoch Living’s failure to address their safety concerns.

‘We are providing a window of opportunity for Lyndoch Living, the Premier and the Department of Health to step in and resolve this serious matter,’ Mr Gilbert said.

'Lyndoch Living is failing in its duty of care to staff and is demonstrating that it does not have the capacity to care for such a resident with specialist care needs.

'We are understandably concerned for the welfare of the other residents should a cease work be necessary.

'Yet, despite our best efforts, management has failed to address the safety issues of its staff and the fallout from the many violent incidents which are being reported to them for action.

'No appropriate action has been taken in response to numerous incidents, including injury to staff, and management has failed to implement government policy which requires appropriate security responses to occupational violence and aggression including Code Grey.

‘We believe that Lyndoch Living ceased the interventions put in place to provide 24 hour care to the resident in question, and has done so without consultation with staff, or the ANMF.

'It should be noted that we have received further complaints to us today by staff who have been victims of separate violent incidents at Lyndoch Living due to inappropriate occupational violence and aggression policies being in place.'

ANMF (Vic Branch) media contact
Samantha Sonogan
0417 523 252