In a bid to identify and address gaps that are putting nurses and other health care professionals at risk of contracting COVID-19 and other issues associated with the provision of care during the pandemic, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has established a new online portal where workers can confidentially share concerns.
“Our nurses and other health professionals are on the COVID-19 frontline,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said. “No one is better placed to know what is working and what isn’t.
However, we are very troubled by reports that some members of the profession are feeling gagged and are unable to speak out about professional practice issues and the practical solutions they see are needed.”
“With over 2,000 health care workers contracting COVID-19 in Victoria alone, there is no question we can do better, particularly when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. We must keep our health care workers safe. To do that we need health care professionals to feel supported when it comes to reporting incidents and shortcomings in the system.
That is the aim of the ACN COVID-19 DISCLOSURE PORTAL being launched today. Through this platform, nurses will be able to anonymously inform us of issues, which we will then raise with the appropriate facility or government if appropriate.
“ACN will expect facilities to promptly investigate and if necessary, take action to rectify the problem within an agreed timeframe.
“We accept that caring for the sick, particularly people with an infectious disease, is a high-risk occupation but that does not excuse employers and the community as a whole from doing everything possible to keep health care workers safe.”
ACN COVID-19 Disclosure Portal will be monitored so that ACN can continue to advocate for the safety of our nurses and share the issues raised publicly if they are not addressed in a timely manner.
Any health care personnel wishing to confidentially inform ACN of an issue can do so at www.acn.edu.au/disclosure-portal.