ANMF and SA Health in anti-violence workshop

9 April 2021

It will come as no surprise to members that violence across our health system has skyrocketed in recent years, with Black Code incidents (12,307) for 2018 to 2019 up by 1660 compared to 2017.

It’s also of no surprise that the RAH, LMH and FMC are the main sites for aggression. In line with the high-risk areas, the indicators for aggression and violence are:

•    Systematic pressures of overcrowding,
•    Extended waiting times,
•    Poor communication,
•    High stimulation of the environment

With more than 2000 staff assaulted in a single year, the ANMF (SA Branch) has decided to take the initiative to facilitate the implementation of SA Health’s Challenging Behaviour Strategic Framework to combat violence and aggression.

Nurses, midwives and care workers have the right to work in a safe and healthy work environment free from violence and aggression.

The ANMF and SA Health today collaborated in a near day-long workshop with leaders from six LHNs and reps from the Department for Health and Wellbeing discussing measures taken by LHNs across the state to protect staff and patients. The implementation of the Challenging Behaviours Strategic Framework has varied across LHNs and the workshop aim was to develop a way forward together to successfully implement the framework across all LHNs.

Our wish from today was to identify some quick wins across each of the domains.

We have noticed that individual LHNs tend to focus on 1 to 2 strategies depending on their priorities and there is little or no evidence of systemic application of the framework across organisations.

If this is going to work, we need to look at all areas but also recognise we cannot implement all components of each of the domains in a short period.

The workshop resolved to establish a small group to develop a plan to tackle the most pressing issues, focusing on violence, education and training, support for staff and community awareness. So, watch this space.