A female security guard is off work and recovering after an assault at Waikato Hospital which has left her with a suspected broken nose.
The assault happened on Tuesday, when the guard was called to help with a highly agitated patient who was trying to leave the hospital. The patient lashed out, giving our member a closed-fist punch to the nose.
It follows the assault on another female guard last month, which has left her with multiple facial fractures and off work for at least three months.
Allied Security is the security contractor for the Waikato District Health Board, and also the Canterbury DHB, where there have been four serious assaults on guards since Christmas.
E tū organiser, Iriaka Rauhihi says the union is appalled by the second serious assault in just over a month at the hospital.
“What are they waiting for – a fatality?
“Assaults are frequent at this DHB and we’re well aware of Allied Security’s record in Christchurch as well. Our members feel unsafe and I’m not the only one worried that someone will die if things don’t improve – our members are saying the same thing,” she says.
E tū Campaign Lead, Mat Danaher says the string of assaults has raised serious alarm bells.
“We are now looking at a record of failure to stem the on-going violence on hospital wards in Waikato and Christchurch,” says Mat.
He says DHBs are due to meet shortly with E tū to review hospital security – a move that’s long over-due.
“Violence on our hospital wards is a serious issue, affecting all staff. The nurses complain wards are unsafe and both they and our security members are frequently in the firing line.
“There are systemic failures including under-staffing, lack of training and poor health and safety processes. We are looking forward to the upcoming security review and welcome the fact that DHBs nationally are taking this issue seriously.”
Iriaka Rauhihi E tū Senior Organiser ph. 27 544 8697 – Iriaka can speak for local Waikato members.
Mat Danaher E tū Campaign Lead ph. 021 336 519 – Mat will be speaking on the situation nationally.