State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will use Parliament today to call on the Health Minister to address staff shortages and prioritise safe nursing and security levels, following yet another incident at the Mater Hospital in April this year.
For years, Ms Hornery has been calling for more security guards, better training and the authority to detain violent patients at the John Hunter and Mater Hospitals.
Health Ministers have conducted a number of reviews but no action has been taken to employ additional staff and improve training.
In 2019, a nurse was stabbed at the Mater and Ms Hornery has received further reports from staff this week about numerous serious injuries to staff in the last few months.
Staff at the John Hunter and Mater Hospitals should not have to fear for their lives and put up with violence when going to work to help people. There must be more measures in place to protect staff while they are doing their jobs, so their focus is on caring for patients, not the possibility of being violently assaulted.
Ms Hornery will move a Notice of Motion in Parliament this morning calling on the Minister to take immediate action.
“This Government has been conducting reviews and security audits at both the John Hunter and Calvary Mater Hospitals since 2012, but as yet nothing has happened,” Ms Hornery said.
“The 2012 audit showed alarming security risks and called on the Government to take action, however nothing has changed.
“In 2019, the Minister conducted yet another review, with former Health Minister, Peter Anderson, looking at what was needed. I met with Peter and even he has said it is obvious more security staff was needed.
“But here we are again, another review completed, but still without a single additional security officer having been employed at the John Hunter or Mater Hospitals.
“I am deeply concerned for the patients and staff at our hospitals. Our local hospitals have limited numbers of qualified, fulltime security officers to deal with the increase in violent behaviour.
“My Notice of Motion will call for immediate action by the Health Minister to increase the security presence at the hospitals in the Wallsend electorate.
“We all remember the stabbing of a security guard in 2019 at the Mater Hospital.
“We don’t need another review, we need immediate action. A safe hospital is a healthy hospital,” said Ms Hornery.