Nurse attacked at Christchurch hospital

Hillmorton Hospital. Picture: RNZ

A man has been arrested after a nurse was stabbed at a Christchurch hospital.

The nurse was assaulted while on duty at the adult mental health inpatient unit at Hillmorton Hospital.

It comes after another nurse was left with serious burns after being attacked on duty at the same hospital last week, and another was strangled and dragged across the floor, in May.

Canterbury District Health Board said it’s doing everything it can to support the nurse.

“No level of violence towards staff, patients, or anyone else is acceptable,” its chief executive David Meates said.

“We are doing all we can to ensure this nurse is well supported in their recovery.

“Whenever there is a serious incident such as this, a review will be carried out to understand what happened and what can be done to reduce the chance of a recurrence. That process is underway.”

The region is feeling pressure on the mental health system following the 2016 earthquake, a growing population and under-resourced health facilities, he said.

“These services continue to be provided in units that are regularly over-crowded and not designed in a way to support modern practice or the numbers of patients we’re seeing.”

Experienced mental health nurses are a finite resource, he said, and the demand for beds in the acute adult inpatient unit frequently exceeds capacity.

Mr Meates is meeting with staff tomorrow, as part of a series of pre-arranged meetings, to discuss safety problems in the unit.

“I am open to hearing all ideas staff have to reduce the risk of violence within our service.”

Police have charged a 42 year-old-man with injuring with intent and he will appear in the Christchurch District Court today.

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