The impact of workplace violence and aggression is a global problem confronting all health care workers. Nurses and midwives, at the forefront of health care delivery, are the largest health care group exposed to occupational violence and aggression.
The fundamental rights of nurses and midwives to be safe and protected is a priority for the ACT Government.
ACT Health is committed to improving workplace safety and continued compliance with legislated responsibility to protect workers and others from harm.
In December 2018, Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris and Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury launched ACT Health’s strategy to improve the workplace health and safety of nurses and midwives.
The Nurses and Midwives: Towards a Safer Culture – The First Step – Strategy outlines our vision of an ACT public health care system where staff, patients and visitors are protected from harm and feel safe at all times.
The Strategy outlines recommendations for creating a safer and healthier environment for all staff and persons who enter ACT public health workplaces.
Accompanying the Strategy is our Implementation Plan, which will guide our work to deliver the recommendations in the Strategy, and a Discussion Paper, which outlines the foundations on which the Strategy was developed.
This Strategy is led by ACT Health and encompasses Canberra Health Services, the University of Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce.
We have worked closely with our stakeholders and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation in the development of this Strategy.
Nurses and Midwives: Towards a Safer Culture project
The Nurses and Midwives: Towards a Safer Culture (NM TASC) project supports an approach to a safe culture that relies on leadership and collaboration cross all ACT public health services, including ACT Health Directorate, Canberra Health Services and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce.
Informed by the work of the NM TASC Steering Committee and Advisory Group, the Strategy and Implementation Plan provides a foundation for positive cultural change within ACT health care settings to reduce harm to staff, patients and visitors.
One priority action area of the Strategy is the implementation of the Safewards Model (Safewards). Safewards is an evidence-based clinical model developed in the United Kingdom to promote safer, less coercive practices in mental health care to reduce incidents of conflict involving consumers and staff. Safewards has demonstrated a significant positive cultural change in promoting the rights and dignity of staff and consumers.