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May 7, 2021

HSU demands improved security following Lismore hospital shooting

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Paul Bibby

Lismore Base hospital staff met with the NSW secretary of the Health Services Union yesterday to discuss the need for new security measures, following the shooting death of a prisoner outside the Emergency Department last month.

The 43-year-old indigenous man was shot by corrective services when he tried to escape custody following treatment at the hospital on March 15.

HSU NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes said the union had written to hospital management several weeks ago outlining a number of measures that should be in place to ensure prisoners could be accepted and treated within the hospital safely.

‘Management has so far refused to implement four out of the six suggestions put forward by workers – on the grounds that formal investigations into the incident have not been completed,’ Mr Hayes said

‘Workers are disappointed and frustrated by management’s lack of action. There is absolutely no sound reason to delay the implementation of these important security measures.

‘In fact, putting security improvements on hold while formal investigations are carried out is just putting the lives of hospital workers and patients at risk.

‘It should never have happened in the first place, and hospital management must make sure it never happens again.’

The incident is now being investigated by both the NSW Police and Corrective Services NSW and will be subject to a coronial inquest.


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