29 Nov 2018

Nurse left with severe burns after patient attack

From Checkpoint, 6:07 pm on 29 November 2018

Warning: The video below contains graphic images 

A nurse at Christchurch's Hillmorton Hospital has been left scarred for life following an attack by a patient earlier this week.

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Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

Sources at the hospital told Checkpoint the nurse was working in a High Care Area in the Adult Acute Inpatient Unit at the hospital when a patient threw boiling water over her.

She was rushed to the Emergency Department with serious burns.

Assaults at the facility are not uncommon, such as an incident in May where a nurse was strangled and dragged across the floor.

A security guard placed in one area of the facility has also been labelled by nursing staff who work there as "useless".

In a statement, the Canterbury DHB confirmed the incident involving the nurse took place.

"We are carrying out a thorough investigation into what happened and the circumstances in the unit at that time and will continue to support the staff member with their recovery."

They said the nurse is "doing well and is in a comfortable condition".

Checkpoint understands they are now on ACC leave.

"We are taking action to reduce the risk of violence within our service," said the DHB.

"For example, the Specialist Mental Health Service is working on a project with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation to support a safe and sustainable acute inpatient service."

"The project aims to address assaults and threats, and is looking at ways to proactively and systematically prevent, de-escalate and manage aggressive behaviour."