01 June 2023

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park has established a review to evaluate the implementation of security and safety measures to protect frontline health workers from violence.

NSW Health has a zero tolerance for violence but Mr Park said the review had been prompted by his commitment to ensure the safety of our frontline staff.

“The safety of health staff is my number one priority, and I am determined to do everything we can to support the essential workers who support us,” Mr Park said.

“The health environment is complex and our frontline health staff manage risks every day at work.”

“Staff have a right to come to work without being injured.”

In 2020, the Hon. Peter Anderson led a major examination of hospital security.

Mr Park has asked Mr Anderson to return to lead a short, sharp evaluation into the progress made towards the delivery of his recommendations from this examination. 

Mr Anderson will also be asked to provide advice on any further actions needed to improve implementation.

In his final report in 2021, Mr Anderson handed down 107 recommendations aimed at ensuring the safety of staff, patients and visitors in NSW hospitals.

The recommendations focussed on:

  • Improving the culture of security and staff safety throughout local health districts and specialist networks
  • Enhancing security governance, accountability and leadership
  • Ensuring standardisation of security practices across the state
  • Considering patient models of care that help address security challenges
  • Building capability of staff to respond to situations involving aggression and violence
  • Better defining the roles, responsibilities of hospital security staff
  • Trialling the provision of defensive protective equipment for security staff in public hospitals
  • Supporting regional and rural facilities to enhance recruitment options for security staff

Mr Anderson will be tasked with engaging directly with key stakeholders including health unions.