November 21, 2023
ED mayhem threat to staff
Healthcare unions says security measures in emergency departments are inadequate despite repeated warnings from staff.
Senior frontline doctors at Auckland’s North Shore and Waitakere hospitals have written to bosses pleading for dedicated security guards.
Sarah Dalton, the executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, says both hospitals operate with one five-person security team to deal with major incidents, which is inadequate.
She says staff are overwhelmed by patient overcrowding and the dangers it brings into the workplace.
“I think from a staff point of view, violence, both verbal and physical is increasingly normalized. And our members are incredibly worried that it’s just going to be seen as part of working in an emergency department. And that’s not safe for anybody,” Ms Dalton says.
Sarah Dalton says diverse language fluency in emergency departments will also help people to feel seen and heard.