In light of the double shooting at Nepean Hospital overnight Unions NSW is calling on the Health Minister Jillian Skinner to immediately address the growing risk of violence in NSW hospitals by upgrading security and further enhancing the powers and resources available to security officers.

Unions NSW Acting Secretary Mark Morey said health unions have been raising the issue of a significant increase in the number of violent incidents in hospitals and the lack of powers and resources available for security officers to deal with them. 

“The NSW Baird Government must act now and do more to improve security within our health system. The Baird Government has been aware of this problem for some time but their limited response is putting the lives of staff, patients and visitors at risk.

“Security officers are dealing with difficult and violent situations every day yet they are very limited in what they can do because they have no powers to restrain or detain trouble makers while waiting for the police to arrive,” Mr Morey said.

“It is outrageous that hospital security officers tasked with protecting us don’t even have the power to do so under current health legislation.”

Mr Morey said it’s time the NSW Government started taking the safety crisis in NSW hospitals seriously.

“We are calling on the Health Minister Jillian Skinner to urgently introduce changes health unions have been calling for to ensure the protection of staff, patients and the community.

“With the increasing levels of violence hospital staff are facing on a daily basis these basic requests are not a lot to ask to ensure safe and adequate workplaces and health services can be provided to all,” Mr Morey said.

The entire union movement’s thoughts are with the police officer and security guard who were shot last night, and their families who should not have to experience the anxiety they are experiencing. Our thoughts are also with the staff, patients and visitors who witnessed the incident and the other health workers who were assaulted in a previous assault at Westmead.

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