A Foley Labor Government will beef up safety at our State’s hospitals by significantly increasing the number of security guards to protect staff, patients and families.

NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley and Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord made the commitment in the wake of another violent incident at Nepean Hospital.

The Labor Opposition said while details are still emerging about the Nepean Hospital shooting this afternoon (October 4), the violent incident highlighted the need for the Berejiklian Government to beef up security at the State’s hospitals – by increasing the number of security guards.

Mr Foley said under a Labor government security guards would also receive specialist training including skills to minimise risk and attempt to defuse difficult and dangerous situations.

Over the last five years, assaults have increased by 33 per cent to around 50 every month, in part due to the prevalence of ice, drugs and alcohol in the community, as well as the State Government’s failure to properly support patients grappling with mental illness.

The State Government has done little since it ordered an audit in the wake of the shooting two years ago of a police officer and hospital security guard by a patient in an emergency ward at Nepean Hospital.  There was also the August 2018 incident where a nurse was hurt at Blacktown Hospital by a patient with a knife stolen from a tea room.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley:

“There is a dangerous lack of security in our State’s hospitals and we have a plan to make hospitals safer for patients and hard-working staff. We will hire and train more security guards. 

“Make no mistake, there needs to be security improvements to protect patients, staff and the public – especially in light of the increasing number of assaults and attacks in NSW hospitals – and this starts with more security guards. 

“Doctors, nurses and health and hospital workers are passionately committed to patient care – but we must protect them so they can do their jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord:

“While there is no way to prepare every hospital for every violent incident, staff need to know that security guards are close at hand to provide support in the event of an emergency.”

“Our doctors, nurses, patients and healthcare workers deserve safe hospitals. The Berejiklian Government has a duty of care for those who care for us.

“Labor will ensure that the hospitals that need it most will have the right amount of security staff with the appropriate skills to protect staff and the community.”