Thomas Embling psych staff walk out
Workers from Victoria's Thomas Embling psychiatric hospital are calling for more staff to deal with an increase in the number of assaults at the facility.
A four-hour stop work meeting was held today, with up to 40 staff protesting outside the office of Mental Health Minister Martin Foley.
The Health and Community Services Union said there had been 468 violent attacks on staff between April and August of this year.
Union secretary Lloyd Williams said staff have been hit and belted by patients.
The forensic hospital at Fairfield has housed some of Victoria's most dangerous psychiatric patients, including Masa Vukotic's killer Sean Price.
In October, Huan Yun Xiang - the man who shot dead two students at Monash University's Clayton campus in 2002 - stabbed a doctor during an interview at the hospital.
Thomas Embling has 120 beds and most patients are transferred from the prison system or ordered by the courts to undergo psychiatric assessment or care.
"Our members out at Thomas Embling hospital are absolutely fed up with the under resourcing and understaffing at the mental health facility," Mr Williams said.
"The under resourcing means that they are unable to provide the therapeutic treatments that are needed to be provided for the very unwell people that we support."
Mr Williams said the group was asking for an additional 18 staff to help deal with patients and create a better patient-to-staff ratio.
The State Government said in a statement it was focused on finalising an agreement with the unions for mental health nurses.
It said while there was agreement on a number of issues, they were still working through some final points and hoped to have a resolution in the coming weeks.
Article by Gloria Kalache originally published by ABC News.
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