Regional sites embrace anti-violence initiative 

7 August 2020

Health care sites across the Murraylands and Mallee regions and beyond have joined other state counterparts in the ANMF (SA Branch)-Crime Stoppers partnership which aims to create safer environments for nurses, midwives and personal care workers.

Among the sites which have joined the cause are Lameroo District Health Services, Murray Bridge Soldiers' Memorial Hospital and Health Service, Strathalbyn and Districts Health Services, and Murray Mallee Aged Care Group, reports The Murray Valley Standard newspaper.

Despite being lauded by politicians and the wider community for their efforts in responding to the coronavirus and bushfire crises this year, frontline health care workers are still the victims of assaults by patients and non-patients, both as they are working and in car parks as they arrive at and leave work.

Murray Mallee Aged Care Group deputy chief executive officer Foster Davis told The Murray Valley Standard that resources accessed through the ANMF-Crime Stoppers partnership would help protect staff.

Prominent signage displaying details for Crime Stoppers, police and emergency numbers will be installed in high-risk areas, such as car parks, encouraging people to report any suspected crimes or suspicious activity.

"We have support workers, nurses, and other staff members working independently to care for clients in their own homes across a number of areas in South Australia, as well tenants and on-site managers at our retirement living community, Warner Close,’’ Mr Davis said.
"We are glad to welcome the ANMF and Crime Stoppers initiative.’’

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network chief executive officer Wayne Champion told The Murray Valley Standard he was grateful for nursing and midwifery staff's "ongoing commitment to providing high-quality care to patients in the community" in what can be a stressful environment.

"Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff and patients, and any acts of violence towards our staff are not tolerated," he said.

ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj. Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM said more than 40 sites across the state had already signed up to the Crime Stoppers campaign.

"We acknowledge that signage alone is not a solution to fixing the issue of violence facing health professionals, however, it is a practical step that may deter criminal activities," she said.

Crime Stoppers chief executive officer Mark Day hoped people would "share what they know" to ensure the safety of nurses and frontline health staff.