Nurses and midwives take to the foreshore for action on hospital safety 


25 February 2022

Nurses and midwives will converge on the Port Lincoln Foreshore on Monday to raise public awareness over the unwillingness of the Port Lincoln Hospital Executive Management to instate restraint-trained security guards and implement all of the safety recommendations put forward by SafeWork SA.

The ANMF (SA Branch) has invited all members, their friends, families and the public to drop in and support the campaign, which will feature visual activities. We request that all attending wear purple in support of this important issue. 

The safety campaign, Safer Nurses = Safer Care, comes after a spate of violent attacks against Port Lincoln Hospital staff.

The ANMF (SA Branch) has long called for on-site 24/7 security guards at Port Lincoln and other regional hospitals. Our campaigning resulted in the Whyalla and Port Augusta Hospitals employing 24/7 on-site security personnel last year.

We have launched a petition to local retiring MP Peter Treloar, Head of the Port Lincoln Hospital Board Michelle Smith and Port Lincoln Hospital CEO Verity Paterson, urging them to take action to protect Port Lincoln Hospital staff and patients. Our petition for greater security has attracted 1,317 signatures.

Security at Port Lincoln Hospital is also now a key state election issue with the two of the local political candidates, Sam Telfer and Liz Habermann, vowing to fight for the safety of nurses and other health care staff. 

“Despite an alarming surge in violent incidents over the years and widespread media coverage of assaults on staff, Port Lincoln Hospital management still refuses to trial restraint-trained security guards,’’ ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM said.

“We had the very high-profile case of a potentially fatal attack on a nurse in 2019 and since then violence against staff has continued unabated.

“We had one incident last October when the entire Port Lincoln SAPOL on-duty force, six police officers, had to restrain a man who punched a doctor in the emergency department and attempted to bite and spit on other staff.

“It is simply unacceptable that health care staff should be exposed to potential harm in their working environment,’’ Ms Dabars said.

“The use of guards at Whyalla and Port Augusta has had a big impact on reducing violence and also given the staff who work there greater peace of mind.

“We are calling on Port Lincoln Hospital management to do the same, to minimise the risk of assault and aggression and the associated trauma. 

“It is inconceivable and abhorrent that nurses and midwives, the vast majority of them women, are basically left to fend for themselves whilst providing care to the community.’’

The Safer Nurses = Safer Care campaign
Date: Monday 28 February 2022
Time: 0900hrs – 1600hrs
Venue: Port Lincoln Foreshore