Thursday, January 06, 2011


Experience at issue, Letter published SMH today, 8.1.11.

The outcome of the inquiries into the fatal stabbing of a nurse at Bloomfield Hospital will be interesting reading (''Three inquiries into fatal hospital stabbing,'' January 7).

Of note here is that the deceased was an experienced nurse coming to the rescue of a new graduate. I wonder how much the new graduate knew about searching new patients? I wonder how much orientation she was given to the unit and its OH&S policies? I wonder what the staffing levels were like in the unit? With three inquiries under way, hopefully we will get some answers to these questions, because I suspect that these factors contributed to the situation.

Mental health nursing requires specialist knowledge. It is not something anyone can do. Shortages of qualified mental health nurses in recent years have left units reliant on younger and more inexperienced staff. In these circumstances there is a greater duty of care on the employer to ensure that these staff members are safe. It is not just a matter of covering the numbers on management staffing sheets. It is about people, and standards of care, and quality and safety, for patients and staff.

Jenny Haines Newtown

Yahoo 7 News, 6.1.11.

A nurse has died after an alleged stabbing at a hospital in central west NSW.

Police were called to the unit in Orange yesterday afternoon, where they found a 62-year-old male nurse with wounds to his chest and arms.

He was rushed to Orange Base Hospital in a critical but stable condition. He died this morning.

A 20-year-old female nurse was treated at the scene for lacerations to her hands and taken to Orange Base Hospital in a stable condition.

Police arrested a 33-year-old man at the scene and he is assisting officers with their investigation.

It is understood the incident happened at Bloomfield Hospital in Orange.