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Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson MP, has today responded to alarming reports exposing ‘third world safety standards’ at a local public mental health unit and written to the Minister for Health calling for a response to the alleged incidents.

In a ‘whistleblower’ letter distributed to local media outlets yesterday, it was revealed there have been a number of alleged ‘serious assaults’ perpetrated by a repeat patient in Shellharbour Hospital’s Eloura Mental Health Unit in recent months.

Shellharbour Hospital’s management team has been accused of ignoring the issue and allowing breaches of the NSW OH&S Act to occur.

Unfortunately, this is not a solitary incident. Multiple instances of violence and abuse inside Shellharbour Hospital’s mental health units have been reported by the Illawarra Mercury in recent years.

Prior to the recent 2019 State Election, NSW Labor committed to mandated nurse-to-patient ratios, as well as the hiring of 5,000 more nurses and 250 additional security staff in NSW hospitals if elected.

In her letter, Ms Watson has asked the Minister to respond to these alleged incidents, and renewed her calls for additional nursing and security staff at Shellharbour Hospital.

Quotes attributable to Anna Watson MP, Member for Shellharbour:

“No one should be forced to go to work each day scared. Everyone deserves to feel safe at their place of work.

“This is why we have nurses and hospital staff burning out and leaving the profession. We can’t expect the people that are trying to care for us to put up with this sort of abuse on a daily basis.

“The staff at Shellharbour Hospital are incredible but they’re understaffed and overworked.

“It’s time the NSW Liberals finally matched Labor’s commitment to improving our public health care system. It’s the only way we can ensure the safety of our nurses, staff and patients.”

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