Health workers attacked and abused over hospital smoking ban

The City of Melbourne has not issued any infringements for smoking outside the six public hospitals in its jurisdiction since the ban begun. Photo: Tamara VoninskiRules banning smoking outside Victoria’s public hospitals could be reviewed because health workers are being attacked and abused while trying to police the policy.
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Calls for an audit of the ban are being led by the n Nursing and Midwifery Federation, which is concerned nurses are being put in danger.

“We’re hearing that the policing of the ban actually leads to violence and aggression against our members,” unionstate secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said.

The callscomeafter the death of Melbourne heart surgeon Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann, who was allegedly punched in the head in the foyer of Box Hill Hospital after expressing concern about people smoking near the hospital entrance.

Surgeon Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann died after allegedly being punched in the head in the foyer of Box Hill Hospital after expressing concern about people smoking near the hospital entrance. Photo: Eddie Jim

Last month two patient transport officerswere reportedly assaulted outside Dandenong Hospital after refusing a request for a cigarette.

Ambulance union state secretarySteveMcGhie said one of the officers had surgery because of an injury sustained in the assault.

Mr McGhie said altercations about smoking did lead to violence and aggression against healthcare workers.

He said there was no easy fix, especially as some offenders were drug affected or had mental health problems.

“Smoking rooms may address some issues, but bystanders and relatives at hospital, quite often because of their agitation and concern, may just smoke outside front doors of hospitals,” he said.

Smokers beneath a ”No Smoking” sign at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Saturday. Photo: Paul Jeffers

A review revisiting how to best protect health workers has broad support of the ambulance union and the n Medical Association, though the AMA does not want to see the smoking ban overturned or relaxed.

AMAVictorian presidentLorraine Bakersaid doctors had told her they felt reluctant to get into “any discussion” with anyone smoking in an area where smoking was banned.

“We support local government and the Victorian government working together to find strategies that will allow for responsible and safe enforcement of a smoking ban,” Dr Baker said.

The banwas introduced by the Andrews government in April 2015and prevents people from lighting up within four metres of an entrance to a public hospital. Many hospitals also have their own smoke-free zones that go beyond what is required by law.

Victoria’s councils have been given money from the government to enforce the four-metre ban and for other anti-smoking initiatives.

But it appears that council officers are rarely, if ever, handing out fines.

The City of Melbourne has not issued any infringements for smoking outside the six public hospitals in its jurisdiction since the ban begun, despite saying officers regularly patrol around hospitals.

“We have very few complaints from hospitals or the public regarding breaches of the ban and find that smokers are generally respectful of the rules,” a spokeswoman said.

The peak body for Victoria’s councils said it was difficult to catch people in the act of smoking.

Municipal Association of Victoria presidentMaryLalios said that,as a result, councils tended to focus their attention on matters such as proper signage.

“Councils respond to complaints from the public, but do not have the resources to place staff out on the beat permanently policing every venue where a smoking ban applies,” Cr Lalios said.

Opposition health spokeswomanMaryWooldridgesaid hospitals often phoned for help “but the smokers have left before council enforcement officers arrive”.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy’s office did not say whether the government would consider reviewing the smoking ban. But a spokeswoman said that this financial year “around $1.8 million was provided to councils to undertake tobacco education and enforcement activities, including the new outdoor smoking bans”.

Ms Fitzpatrick said the nurses’ union was calling for research into who was enforcing the hospital smoking ban and if it wasreducing smoking.

“We want to see if there is a way of reducing violence and protecting health workers from secondary smoke inhalation,” she said.

People caught smoking near a public hospital entrance can be fined $159.

– The Age

Newcastle University protests on Tuesday over coal connections

Data reveals university’s coal ties Questions: The University of Newcastle has been asked to divest itself of coal investments.
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New: The University of Newcastle has received millions of dollars in coal-linked funding since 2013.

Dramatic: The dramatic new University of Newcastle CBD building.

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldquestions on Tuesday.

Students at Newcastle, Queensland, NSW and Monash universities will hold protests on Tuesday highlighting universitylinks with the coal industry, and calling oninstitutions to move investments from fossil fuels.

350苏州模特佳丽招聘 spokesperson Jackson Turner

The protests coincide with release of the“Exposing the Ties”reportshowing how key decision-makers in n universities are former employees of fossil fuel industries, or hold non-executive director positions on mining and related companies.

These include University of Newcastle Chancellor Paul Jeans, who held chief executive roles at BHP over a 40-year career with the company, was Newcastle Port Corporation chair from 2008 to 2013 and a former n Minerals Council councillor.

University of Newcastle Council member Michelle McPherson held senior finance roles with Caltex and was a Newcastle Port Corporation director for six years.

The university’sHunter Research Foundation Centre has many fossil fuel-related companies in its sponsors list, including the Port of Newcastle, Port Waratah Coal Services, coal consultant GHD, Centennial Coal and Bengalla Mining. The centre’s advisory board includes members with a history of work in the fossil fuel industry. One member, Professor Eileen Doyle, is a non-executive member of Oil Search Ltd.

Companies connected to research funding at the University of Newcastle include Glencore, Rio Tinto, New Hope, Stanford Coal, Peabody, BHP, Whitehaven Coal and Xstrata.

Jackson Turner of350苏州模特佳丽招聘 said the strong links between universities andthe fossil fuels industry could create a serious conflict of interest when it comes to decisions about whether a university moves its investments out of coal, oil and gas.

“n universities have been resistant to divesting their assets from fossil fuel and related companies. This has led us to question the kinds of ties that exist between our universities and the fossil fuels industry,” Mr Turner said.

“What we have found is that many council members of leading universities either have ties to, or are non-executive directors of companies whose significant business is in fossil fuels.Additionally, many universities have material ties to the industry, receiving funding for university projects from fossil fuel or related companies.

“These ties could create a serious conflict of interest or bias when it comes to decisions around fossil fuel divestment, potentially jeopardising universities’ own endowment investments by failing to accurately consider climate change and stranded asset risks.”

Over the past four years students at 18 n universities, including Newcastle, have petitioned the institutions to divest from fossil fuels, in line with major companies and other institutions, including churches, that have divested.

The Hunter university was asked to disclose the full carbon exposure of its investments, stop any new investments in fossil fuel activities and set a five-year deadline on divesting.

“If it’s wrong to wreck the climate then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage,” Mr Jackson said.

Investing in fossil fuels was“not only ethically ambiguous but financially risky” because of the risk of stranded assets, he said.

Vicki Purnell opens up about Bridie’s Blossoms for stillborn and miscarried babies

A sewer is using her talent to create outfits for stillborn babies Vicki Purnell spends countless hours creating intricate little outfits for stillborn and miscarried babies.
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Sizes start from 0 to 16 weeks, then 17 to 21 weeks, 22 to 25, 26 to 30, 31 to 36 and 37 to 40 weeks. This burial outfit is for a full-term baby.

TweetFacebookThey say that it was just so good to see their babies were dressed, that they were farewelled with dignity

Vicki Purnell

There are 40 stillbirths and 20 newborn deaths in Tasmania each year, with one in 135 births being stillborn and one in four women experiencing a miscarriage -wide.

The name Bridie’s Blossoms comes from another friend of Ms Purnell’s who had a stillborn baby about five years ago.

“She was just about to have her second baby – a little girl, and a few days before she was scheduled for a cesarean, Bridie passed away. Shewas nearly full-term.

“So it was bubbling in my mind back then. When the time was right, I approached her, when I was planning on getting this project off the ground – I had a few ideas in place, and I thought, well I’ll ask her what she thinks about using the name.

“She was really pleased that her daughter’s memory was going to live on and to help other people.”

Ms Purnell has been creating the packages since late 2013, and has already made nearly 400 packages and about 100 separate burial outfits.

“Up to 16 weeks there’s no legal requirement to have a funeral, so you can take it home and put it in your backyard if you wanted to, which is what some people do.

“That’s how the coffin box came about.Once I started doing this, the Gateway Church got in touch with me and said, ‘would you be able to line the coffins we put out to the hospitals on the North-West’.So I came up with this plan and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

The packages include booties, a hat, a nappy and a gown for the baby, as well as keepsakes for the parents. The keepsakes include a handkerchief, which Ms Purnell makes from scratch, two teddy bears –one for the baby and one for the parents to keep, a little lace angel, two keyrings –one that says, ‘I existed, I mattered’ and one that says, ‘fly free’, a keepsake nappy, an angel baby hanger, a guardian angel feather and a charm pin that says, ‘you are always in my heart’.

The parents often keep the gown the baby wears in the hospital, and bury them in a different outfit.

“The parents might keep the outfit the baby’s worn as akeepsake. They want to have something the baby’s worn so they have that smell – they know the baby’s touched it.”

Everything she makes for the babies needs to be easy for the nurses or funeral directors to put on and take off.

“They have such fragile skin – it’s paper wafer thin and it’s translucent.”

Nobody is charged for the packages, burial outfits or remembrance quiltletsMs Purnell makes.

“While I am willing and able to do it, I will,” she said.

“Sewing is my passion. I’ve been sewing since I was very, very small. It’s my therapy, I enjoy sewing, so rather than waste money on something else, this is something I’m very passionate about.”

She puts a little note in the keepsake packages so that parents can get in touch and ask for a personalised remembrance quiltlet with the name and date of birth of their baby.

Ms Purnell receives feedback all the time from parents on her facebook page.

“They say thatit was just so good to see their babies were dressed, that they were farewelled with dignity.

“I’ve had people who had a baby years ago say, ‘I wish you were here when I had my baby because they didn’t have anything at all’.

“It certainly is hard sometimes, especially when you’ve built up a rapport with the parents who’ve lost a baby.”

Alison McPhee: Why volunteering put everything in perspective

HONOUR: Belmont’s Alison McPhee, left, is named the Hunter Region’s Young Volunteer of the Year and overall winner in the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.
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RESILIENCE and courage.

They are the words that come to Alison McPhee’s mind when she reflects on the families of children who live with a disability.

The 21-year-old Belmont student was speaking after being named both the Hunter Region’s Young Volunteer Volunteer of the Year and overall winner at the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, held last week, for her work with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Ms McPhee, a fourth-year physiotherapy student at the University of Newcastle,was recognised for her contribution to the n CP Check-Up research program.

The early intervention program allows medical professionals to monitor the condition of children with cerebral palsy, guarding against secondary complications such as dislocated hips, muscle contracturesand other spinal or joint problems.

In her nominationfor the award, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance said Ms McPheehad proved herself as showing “a knack with children, relaxing them with her smile and fun-loving nature”, which paid dividends for the program as children and their families are at ease with what can be a stressful time.

“It was a massive honour,” Ms McPhee said after receiving her awards.

“I never really expected to get any award out of it so it was very humbling.”

Ms McPhee said her two years volunteering with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance had taught her that families of children with a disability were among the community’s strongest members, calling them “inspirational”.

“I really enjoy working with kids and their families,” she said.

“I really value the people who I’ve worked with because they’ve been inspirational.

“The family’s resilience and courage to face every day while they’re going through so muchreally does make you stop and think about your own life.

“It puts everything in perspective.”

Ms McPhee encouraged others to appreciate those with a disability and stressed the importance of social inclusion.

“It’s important to understand that children with a disability are still children,” she said. “We should be supporting these families as much as we can, ensuring that children with a disability are included, living a normal life as much as they can and not pushed to the side.”

The NSW minister responsible for volunteering, David Elliot, thanked all volunteers for their contribution to the Hunter.

“The efforts ofvolunteershere today have, no doubt, greatly improved the lives of Hunter residents …[and] people whovolunteerare often happier, healthier and more connected to their communities,” he said.

Millers, Hodge pull off Newcastle plunge

Punters cheer on the horses at Newcastle on Saturday. Picture: Jonathan CarrollRELATED CONTENT: Saturday’s fashions of the field
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Newcastle gelding Grand Condor brought off a long-range plunge when he beat a quality field of sprinters in the 900-metre Hurricane Handicap on the second day of the Newcastle spring carnival on Saturday.

Trained on the Newcastle track by Steve Hodge, the nine-year-old was an $81 chance with corporate bookmakers on Friday night.Connections and stable followers snapped up the long odds and by race time the sprinter was a $31 chance in a very strong betting race.

Canberra apprentice Rachel Hunt, on loan from Warwick Farm trainer Mark de Montfort, made use of Grand Condor’s speed and he raced outside the leader, Aomen.

He took the lead in the straight and held off determined challenges from the Cessnock three-year-old Three Sheets ($5) and Wouldn’t It Be Nice ($8.50).

The win was a windfall for Central Newcastle rugby league coach Barney Miller and his son Lucas, who is racing manager for Kris Lees.

The Millers bred Grand Condor, but the gelding hadbeen leased, until Saturday, by the Newcastle-based From The Track syndicate.

He won seven races and $137,000 for the syndicate before the lease expired. The horse’s future was up in the air after he was seventh at Muswellbrook on August 6.

Miller has bought a property at Lochinvar, where he plans to retire Grand Condor, but he and his son have decided to keep the horse in training with close friend Hodge for the time being.

The trainer was over the moon on Saturday.

“He had not won a race for a long time, but he had been a good old horse for the syndicate before Barney and Lucas decided to race him themselves,” he said.

“I freshened him up for the Hurricane and he was very well weighted with 51kg on his back after Rachel’s 3kg claim.

“Lucas and I were confident and we did back him at the $81.”

The runner-up, Three Sheets, is trained by Jeremy Sylvester and part-owned, coincidentally, by newly appointed Cessnock Goannas coach Al Lantry.

The latter was coached by Miller in his days with the Cessnock club.

Three Sheets has been set for next month’s Jungle Juice Cup at Cessnock, and it was an impressive first-up run.

Nathan Perry, foreman for his father, Paul, revealed that Wouldn’t It Be Nice had run his last race after five wins and $557,000 in prizemoney.

Perry was the only other Newcastle trainer to taste success on Saturday. Surjin, the three-year-old son of Perry’s Golden Slipper winner Stratum, steamed home to win the 1400m maiden handicap by 1½lengths.

The colt put the writing on the wall on debut when third on the Beaumont track on September 5.

Sydney jockey Koby Jennings, who has been in great form at Newcastle, landed a double for two of ’s most successful stables.

He saluted on Seaglass for Peter and Paul Snowden in the 1200m class 1 handicap and brought odds-on favourite Newburgh from the tail of the field to win the 900m maiden plate for the Hawkes stable.