Safety Review Needed For Mental Health Unit

Recent revelations of increased violence against nurses at the Adult Mental Health Unit at the Canberra Hospital has prompted the Canberra Liberals to call for a review of safety and security, Shadow Minister for Mental Health Giulia Jones said today.

“I’m calling on the government to review security and nurse safety at the Mental Health Unit and report back to the Legislative Assembly no later than November this year. Permanent measures are needed to give nurses the safe working environment they deserve,” Mrs Jones said.

“In 2013-14 staff in the unit filed 57 reports of attacks on workers, that’s up from 49 the previous year. That doesn’t include verbal threats or near misses and the total number of incidents is increasing.

“A Provisional Improvement Notice was issued by WorkSafe ACT in July which has now been extended to October. It’s time for the government to put permanent measures in place to make the workplace safe.

“How can Canberrans expect the government to run a new secure facility when it can’t provide a safe working environment in the Adult Mental Health Unit?

“ACT Labor needs to guarantee a safe workplace for mental health nurses, it must be a priority. It is a cop out to say that nurses choose to work in this environment. Workplace safety is not an optional extra, it is a basic right and legislative requirement,” Mrs Jones concluded.