Bupa’s multiple safety issues
Association urges company to act on security, manual handling and training concerns.
Bupa breached the WHS Act by failing to protect nurses at its Pottsville facility from risks arising from exposure to violence and aggression, NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes informed the company.
In a letter to Bupa management, Brett urged it to act on the findings of an NSWNMA health and safety inspection of the Pottsville workplace in the Tweed region of northern NSW.
The union inspection found there were not always enough staff on duty to appropriately move residents who require two or three staff to assist them.
The inspection report called on the company to review rosters and ensure relevant staff have manual handling competency.
The report said resident aggression made up the largest group of reported incidents in the previous 12 months.
Personal duress alarms were not provided and staff were not given de-escalation training.
Nurses could be trapped by aggressive patients or visitors at nurses’ stations that did not have a second exit.
The inspection report called for second exits to be created where possible, installation of swipe card access to station doors and installation of hardwired duress buttons in all stations.
It said staff were placed in designated work areas without the appropriate education or skills to manage challenging behaviour, and told to attend training in their own time.
The report recommended that all staff be trained to manage aggressive incidents, be trained in dementia and/or mental health and receive de-escalation training.
It said NSWNMA members raised concerns about bullying and harassment and called on the company to implement systems to deal with those issues. Complaints should be mediated by an external authority not a facility manager.
The Pottsville branch of the NSWNMA wrote to the facility manager about missing or inadequate equipment, including a lack of overhead lifters.
The branch said there were not enough commode chairs for showering residents and it took too long to get equipment repaired.
New equipment was introduced without staff being trained in how to use it, thereby exposing staff and residents to potential injury.
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