Nurses walk off job over safety concerns

Issue 
Victorian Health and Community Services Union state secretary Lloyd Williams said the state government had ignored pleas for mor

Nurses at Victoria's Thomas Embling psychiatric hospital walked off the job for two hours on June 14 because of safety concerns.

The Health and Community Services Union said there had been 100 incidents at the hospital in the past three months, including one in which four people were injured.

Thomas Embling has 116 beds and most patients are transferred from the prison system or ordered by the courts to undergo psychiatric assessment or care. It has housed some of Victoria's most dangerous psychiatric patients, including Masa Vukotic's killer Sean Price.

Nurses at Victoria's Thomas Embling psychiatric hospital walked off the job for two hours on June 14 because of safety concerns.

The Health and Community Services Union said there had been 100 incidents at the hospital in the past three months, including one in which four people were injured.

Thomas Embling has 116 beds and most patients are transferred from the prison system or ordered by the courts to undergo psychiatric assessment or care. It has housed some of Victoria's most dangerous psychiatric patients, including Masa Vukotic's killer Sean Price.

Health and Community Services Union state secretary Lloyd Williams said the state government had ignored pleas for more staff to handle the growing number of patients.

"Thomas Embling hospital is bursting at the seams," he said. "Forensic mental health services are at crisis point. Assaults continue to occur and we want the Government to ensure that more resources are put into keeping staff safe.

"What the Government really needs to do is two things: it needs to fix the staffing at the current facility but it also needs to be planning for an expansion of more beds."

While Victoria's prison system has been expanding, there has been no expansion of forensic psychiatric services since 2000, Mr Williams said.