HSU security members ban Nepean mental health unit

Health Services Union

The Health Services Union have placed an indefinite ban on security officer members entering the Nepean Hospital mental health unit for all circumstances except code black emergencies, following four serious injuries at the facility in the last six days.

The union is demanding the employment of at least three additional full time security officers for the unit, after the following string of incidents:
  • On July 5 at approximately 21:40 two HSU security officers were injured in Mental Health Triage and Assessment Centre (TAC) whilst dealing with an aggressive male scheduled patient. One officer sustained head injuries and was admitted to the emergency department and is now off work.
  • On July 4, at approximately 20:40 hours a HSU security officer suffered facial and dental injuries after being punched in the face by a male patient in Mental Health High Dependency Unit. He is now off work.
  • On July 1 at approximately midday a HSU security officer sustained a back injury while dealing with a highly aggressive male patient in Mental Health Triage and Assessment Centre (TAC). He now off work.
  • On June 30 HSU member fractured four ribs in emergency department room 33 after a random attack by a mental health patient.
HSU NSW Secretary, Gerard Hayes, said the frequency and intensity of hospital assaults was worsening.
“Nepean Hospital is treating security officers like battering rams. What workplace deems it acceptable for multiple employees to suffer fractured ribs, head injuries and cracked teeth in the same location in the space of a week?
“Signing up to become a security officer should not mean you are a glorified punching bag.
“Clearly there are not enough security officers in this unit. We need an urgent increase in fully qualified, full time security officers in this unit.
“Does someone need to die before the Ministry sits up takes notice?”
Gerard Hayes 0417 275 821
/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).