The Northern Territory Government has announced remote nurses will now be escorted by a trusted community member on after-hours call-outs following the release of a report into remote nurse safety.
The Department of Health says it will implement all of the report’s 14 recommendations, which was commissioned after the death of remote-area nurse Gayle Woodford (pictured) in SA in March last year.
Dudley David Davey, 35, is charged with her murder and is due to appear in the Port Augusta Magistrates Court on 19 December 2016.
A nurse was also attacked in April during an afternoon house call in the remote NT community of Wadeye. Police say a man kicked and punched the 54-year-old woman to the ground, and kept attacking her even after she fell off a verandah until another resident intervened.
In another incident in the Kimberley, a nurse was punched during a fight between patients in August, while other nurses have reported feeling scared and vulnerable working alone.
Existing training programs will also be immediately updated to include mandatory safety, aggression minimisation and de-escalation training and procedures, while a pool of experienced ongoing tenured remote nurses will be re-established to ensure a second nurse is available in the community.
However, it will be up to providers to foot the bill.