Hospital stabbing death prompts urgent call for nurse safeguards

PRACTICE nurses are being urged to ensure their workplace takes precautions to prevent violent incidents after a nurse died following an attack at a NSW mental health clinic.

Bob Fenwick, 63, died last month from stab wounds he received while treating a patient at Bloomfield hospital in Orange. The nurse assisting him, Emily Pritchard, 20, was also injured.

A 33-year-old man was arrested at the scene and later charged with murder and attempted murder.

Morton Rawlins, faculty chair of the Victorian branch of the RACGP, said nursing and reception staff in general practice were also exposed to the risk of violence, particularly if they worked “on the front line”.

 “We often find that patients can be as nice as pie to the doctor but not quite so nice to the reception staff or the nursing staff,” Dr Rawlins said.

He said it was vital that general practices had safeguards to deal with workplace violence.