‘Zero tolerance policy in relation to violence’

WSLHD executive director Robynne Cooke is encouraging staff to report any forms of aggression. (Credit: Daily Telegraph)

The health heroes who care for people in our facilities can make the workplace even safer if they report acts of aggression.

WSLHD executive director Robynne Cooke praised staff for their hard work and encouraged everybody who was a victim of violence or aggression to log the event in the IIMS risk register.

“WSLHD has a zero tolerance policy in relation to violence directed at our staff, patients and visitors,” Ms Cooke said.

“Regrettably, on occasions, people can behave aggressively in our hospitals as was the case on May 7 at Westmead.

“Our staff do an amazing job in often trying circumstances and if there is an incident they can really add to the safety of the workplace by making a detailed entry in IIMS.”

IIMS is an online statewide risk register: http://wslhdintranet.wsahs.nsw.gov.au/Incident-Information-Management-System–IIMS-/Incident-Information-Management-System-IIMS

Entries assist staff to make sure that violence prevention measures and support are aligned with the type and number of incidents reported.

At a district level, WSLHD’s Violence Prevention Program offers a range of responses to violence and aggression. These responses can range from imposing restricted access on people through to banning people from facilities unless they need medical treatment.

Violence Prevention Program manager Matthew Pearson can be contacted at Matthew.Pearson@health.nsw.gov.au for further information on the program.

WSLHD provides training, education and access to counselling and additional support for staff who experience violence or aggression.

“Staff know to call for assistance and backup if any patient or their family behaviour becomes aggressive and this includes calling police when needed,” Ms Cooke said.