new care model to improve hospital staff safety

Acute violence: new care model to improve hospital staff safety

The Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) will implement a new care-model where a specialised experienced team will be available 24/7, to aid in preventing and responding to acute work-related violence.

Department of Customer Service Executive Director Investigations & Enforcement Valerie Griswold said the new program was part of an enforceable undertaking secured between SafeWork NSW and SLHD following a workplace incident in 2019 where three nurses and a patient were stabbed by another patient in a Sydney hospital.

“A suite of strategies have been agreed to, including the implementation of a Behavioural Escalation Support Team, which will create a new health industry benchmark in workplace health and safety,” Griswold said.

“As part of the agreement, the SLHD will develop and accredit a Graduate Diploma in the Assessment and Management of Acute Behavioural Disturbances to support staff to develop specialist skills in the management of work-related violence and aggression.

“The course will focus on increasing an understanding and awareness of factors of behavioural disturbances including mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, dementia or delirium, and 25 scholarships will be available to clinicians from across the sector,” Griswold said.

The enforceable undertaking entered into by SLHD included an agreement to spend more than $3 million to promote workplace safety, including the employment of a program manager for the safe care of mental health and behaviourally disturbed patients.

Enforceable undertakings are legally binding agreements between SafeWork NSW and other organisations that constitute an alternative enforcement outcome to a criminal conviction. To be accepted, enforceable undertakings must demonstrate substantial, tangible work health and safety benefits to the workplace, industry and the community.

For more information on enforceable undertakings visit

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