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PDH Launches Campaign

PDH Launches Campaign

PDH Takes United Stand Against Aggression Toward Health Workers

Portland District Health staff and management are taking a united stand to stamp out any form of aggression towards health service workers.

PDH has launched a new campaign on untoward behaviour, saying everybody is entitled to a safe workplace and respectful encounters free from occupational violence and aggression.

The campaign follows an upswing of aggressive behaviour in recent months, particularly in the Urgent Care Centre where staff report multiple cases most weeks.

The campaign also coincides with National Safe Work Month in October, a time to make a commitment to improving safety and health in the workplace.

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New posters are being displayed around the health service asking all visitors to treat staff with respect.

PDH Director of Corporate Services Karena Prevett said staff had noticed an increase in aggressive behaviour over recent months, and the health service has now called on the community for support.

"We have a united front as an organisation that we do not tolerate any aggressive behaviour towards staff," Ms Prevett said.

"We want to educate the community before they come to the health service to understand what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't, and we want to appeal to all local people to support our staff."

Urgent Care Centre staff member Noelene Mabbitt said occupational violence and aggression was an issue across health services, with the problem escalating due to COVID-19.

"People have come to see patients but if they are in isolation, we're not allowed to let them in, that has created a lot of emotive responses."

While there has been overwhelming support for healthcare workers during the pandemic, Ms Mabbitt said staff also saw the other extreme.

"We've had lovely support from the community, including businesses sending in food, but some people don't have the respect they once did," she said.

Posters will be displayed around the health service to encourage conversations and to act as a deterrence to occupational violence and aggression.

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