A REPORT into the care of patients at a Caulfield Hospital unit, ¬ordered after shocking footage emerged of a nurse abusing a man in his bed, says urgent funding is needed for staff development.
Hidden-camera footage taken on January 22 showed a male nurse grabbing Billy Aivaliotis by the throat in the specialist brain injury unit, then pushing him in the face.
After the Herald Sun revealed the incident, Health Minister Jill Hennessy ordered Safer Care Victoria (SCV) to undertake a review of Alfred Health’s acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation service at the hospital.
A nurse was caught on camera abusing a defenceless patient at Caulfield Hospital.
The experts who conducted the review made 26 recommendations, including:
GREATER inclusion of ¬patients and their families in care decisions;
BETTER clinical leadership;
GIVING personal alarms to staff in the unit, and;
A REVISED staff wellbeing and support program.
The report said: “The provision of employee assistance program services to nursing staff in the ABI unit is appropriate for major incidents.
“A more sustained program is required for the monitoring and management of staff stress, vicarious trauma and emotional wellbeing.
“Sustained exposure to occupational violence can lead to extreme consequences for staff such as burnout and eliciting violent behaviour themselves.
“The exposure ABI unit staff have to occupational violence may have been a contributing factor to the incident that triggered this review.”
Hidden-camera footage showed a male nurse grabbing Billy Aivaliotis by the throat.
Alfred Health issued a statement today saying it accepted all the recommendations, and that they would be implemented by year end.
“We are changing the way our clinical team escalates and acts on family feedback,” it said, adding: “We were shocked by the inappropriate treatment of a patient reported earlier this year.
“The improvements we are making … will go a long way to ensuring this type of isolated incident does not happen again.”
Victoria Police launched an investigation and has confirmed its probe continues.
The camera which captured the footage was hidden in a picture frame by Mr Aivaliotis’ family, who said concerns they raised with hospital staff about his treatment by staff had fallen on deaf ears.
The nurse involved, in his 30s, was stood down just ¬before the Herald Sun published details, and no longer works for Alfred Health.
Law firm Arnold Thomas and Becker, acting on behalf of Mr Aivaliotis and his family, is initiating civil proceedings against the hospital.
Mr Aivaliotis, 33, who was born with cerebral palsy, was struck by a vehicle on May 22 last year and suffered a significant brain injury.