State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has welcomed a report into improvements to security in hospitals across NSW, particularly the John Hunter and Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospitals.
The report, completed by the Hon Peter Anderson AM, a former NSW Health Minister, looked at ways to better protect and safeguard the welfare of hospital staff, visitors and patients.
Mr Anderson interviewed key stakeholders, including staff, unions, local Members of Parliament and Police, in preparing his comprehensive report.
The report found that hospitals are facing increased risks, including dealing with angry or ice-affected patients and treating weapon-inflicted injuries.
Ms Hornery has welcomed the report and has called on the NSW Health Minister to implement the recommendations as quickly as possible.
“I have been calling for more security guards, better training and the authority to detain violent patients at the John Hunter and Mater hospitals,” said Ms Hornery.
“Health Ministers have conducted a number of reviews but no action has been taken to employ additional staff and improve training.
“This report by Peter Anderson is very welcome and addresses many of the issues that staff and security have raised with me over the years.
“I spent a number of hours speaking with Peter and I am pleased that he has taken on board the issues that I raised with him.
“Hospital staff, including security, have been kicked, punched, shot, and stabbed, with an incident at the Mater hospital in May 2019 that saw a guard stabbed with scissors.
“The recommendations call for a reduction in the use of contract security staff, the hiring of more permanent staff, and a boost to security numbers in some rural and regional hospitals.
“The Minister has the report, the third since 2012, and I am asking him to get on with implementing the recommendations as soon as possible,” said Ms Hornery.