Violence in NSW Hospitals
Following the recent incident at Nepean Hospital, ACN wrote an urgent email to the Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner MP offering our members’ insights and expertise to help resolve this alarming and serious issue. The email included a formal letter of request to include a delegate from ACN on the proposed Round Table to discuss and help resolve the issue.

Dear Minister

As the CEO of the Australian College of Nursing, and with my background in nursing and senior health executive positions, I am familiar with the violence experienced by nursing, medical and hospital staff.

I would like to offer my expertise and the resources of the Australian College of Nursing, as part of your proposed Round Table, to assist you in coming up with a solution to this escalating problem. The Australian College of Nursing is a respected membership organisation for nurses in all settings and our members have valuable perspectives and key insights to offer to the New South Wales Government to assist you in finding a solution to this serious issue.

Please refer to the attached letter* of request. I look forward to working collaboratively to find solutions that benefit all staff and communities.

Yours sincerely

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN
*The copy of the letter is below.

From the office of the Chief Executive Officer
Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN

For the urgent attention of:
The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP
Minister for Health
GPO Box 5341

Dear Minister

Re: Violence in NSW Hospitals – Request to Attend Stakeholder Roundtable

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) welcomes the NSW Government’s move to undertake measures to address the escalating level of violence in NSW Hospitals and is keen to provide our support and expertise to assist you in resolving this concerning issue.

I am writing to appeal to you to include the Australian College of Nursing in the stakeholder discussions about this issue.

ACN is very keen that nurses have an opportunity to make their concerns heard. Of particular importance is that we would like to ensure that nurses across all Districts of NSW have access to a collective, professional, representative voice so that nurses’ experiences are guaranteed to help shape the best outcome possible for policy and reform.

As a leading national organisation for nurse leaders, ACN has a wealth of nursing expertise to draw upon and can provide valuable nursing perspectives which will be key to helping the NSW Government find a solution, not just for nurses who have faced or may face this in their workplace, but for the safety and wellbeing of all staff, patients and visitors.

It is well documented that nurses are often the victims and witnesses to violence in the Emergency department.  This can be a result of, amongst other things, patients who present for treatment under the influence of drugs and or alcohol. Within the hospital, all wards and units (even Maternity) have the potential for being affected by violence. As a result, nurses have important insights into the problem and are uniquely placed to discuss and suggest measures to reduce the frequency of violent episodes and eliminate the danger posed.

On behalf of ACN, I would welcome the opportunity for ACN to work with the NSW Government to resolve this concerning and dangerous situation. Please do not hesitate to contact me on 02 6283 3401 with any queries, questions or concerns.

Yours Sincerely,

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN
RN, MMgt, Dip App Sci (Nursing), Acute Care Cert., FACN, Wharton Fellow, MAICD