Page 1253 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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Minister Davidson talked about these strategies that have been put in place and the fact that, in this complex environment of Dhulwa and some of the consumers there, sometimes there are also unpredictable behaviours and responses. So more needs to be done to ensure that staff have the support that they need.

A key element of the CHS occupational violence strategy is to conduct a formal occupational violence risk assessment of all patient-facing work areas, with priority given to higher risk areas. The risk assessment identifies occupational violence risks and the controls that need to be put in place to mitigate these risks.

As I have mentioned, “respect our staff” posters have been distributed to higher risk areas as part of a comprehensive and sustained approach to communicating to staff, patients and visitors that occupational violence is unacceptable at Canberra Health Services facilities. Further resources in a range of areas to support all teams in the prevention and management of occupational violence, including guiding documents, the implementation of duress devices and extensive training programs, have been put in place.

There are also protocols and procedures for staff responding to and reporting incidents of violence when these occur. Staff are provided with training in occupational violence de-escalation techniques, for example. There are clearly defined escalation pathways to ensure that staff receive immediate and appropriate support and response following occupational violence incidents, which may involve security personnel and police. Areas of higher occupational violence risk, as per the occupational violence risk assessment, have been prioritised for the rollout of occupational violence training.

Affected staff are provided with appropriate psychological support following an occupational violence incident, which may include access to services such as critical incident debriefing and employee assistance programs, which Minister Davidson also touched on. CHS staff are provided with fact sheets which emphasise the need for reporting of all occupational violence incidents and provide guidance on how to complete those reports through the CHS incident reporting system. Separately, through the culture review and the HR matters working group, there is some work on ensuring that that RiskMan system is easier to use.

I could talk about the work that is happening in culture and work health and safety at Canberra Health Services; suffice to say that Minister Davidson’s amendments say what they need to say and do what they need to do, and we support the amendments.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (11.32): Again, we have heard a lot of talk—many minutes of it. We have heard about safety huddles, debriefs, enhanced training and redeployment. “If you speak up, we’ll move you.” There has been nothing about the physical security of our nurses today. Have more security guards been put on shift? Are those security guards allowed to step in and protect people if they are called for help? Why did it take so long for this large inquiry to go ahead? Why did it take over a month for this inquiry finally to be agreed to? Yet, as we have only heard words, there are still no terms of reference. Mr Daniel himself said, “Why can’t we have a meeting today to sort it out?” I think that was on Monday, when I spoke to him.

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