Our persistence pays off - former police officer to review Port Lincoln security

11 August 2022

A former police officer will lead a full security review of the Port Lincoln Hospital following a number of widely publicised violent incidents there in July.

It is the latest in a series of incidents threatening the safety of our members in recent years.

The Eyre and Far North Local Health Network has confirmed professional risk, security advisory and IT consulting firm Hannan & Partners will undertake the review.

The company has previously provided security solutions for the Department for Health and Wellbeing during the pandemic and a security review of SA Pathology sites.

Its director is former police officer Mat Hannan.

The review, which follows our ongoing advocacy for improved security at country hospitals, is due to begin later this month.

It follows a campaign ANMF (SA Branch) launched earlier this year calling on members and the Port Lincoln community to join our petition urging hospital management and politicians to instate 24/7 security guards; petition signatures reaching well over 1500 in a matter of days.

“Although we are pleased about the review, we have formally written to CHSA Executive and sought commitment that we are part of the review process given we represent the industrial, WH&S matters of our members” said ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM. 

"The spotlight remains on this issue because of the actions of Port Lincoln nurses, midwives and personal care assistants and we thank them for their efforts.” 

Additionally, following advocacy, we have also secured a commitment from the Labor Government to introduce the 10-point plan to End Violence and Aggression and adopt this in its entirety.

We are also seeking provision for this in our current Public Sector Enterprise Agreement negotiations to ensure it is embedded.

We have called on SA Health to commit to a full implementation of their Prevention of Fatigue Policy Directive and their Challenging Behaviour Strategic Framework. A working group has recently been set up with the DHW to initiate a mapping process with local policies to ensure that there are no gaps between these and the 10-point Plan.

“This mapping will ensure that the entirety of the 10-point Plan is adopted by Local Health Networks and ultimately ensuring better protection for members,” Ms Dabars said.

Our Port Lincoln advocacy journey:

Early March: The ANMF (SA Branch) created an online petition calling on management to instate restraint-trained security guards. The petition received more than 1,500 signatures;
Early March: ANMF (SA Branch) staff rallied in Port Lincoln spreading the word with local businesses and employees, “Safer Nurses = Safer Care”;
June: ANMF (SA Branch) attended various meetings with management to negotiate safer working conditions for members;
Late July: Secured full security review of the Port Lincoln Hospital.