Taranaki District Health
Private Bag 2016
New Plymouth 4342
Telephone 06 753 6139
Facsimile 06 753 7770
[Taranaki District Health Board request email]
17 May 2019
Siobhan Lehnhard mailto:[FYI request #10162 email]
Dear Ms Lehnhard Official Information Act Request
I write in response to your request for official information received on the 17th April 2019.
You have requested the following:
Please supply the following information under the Official Information Act (OIA) / Local
Government Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA):
The total number of assaults against nurses by members of the public from 2013-2018.
How many assaults against nurses by the members of the public broken down by each
year from 2013-2018.
So (x) total for 2013-18
o (x) total for 2013
o (x) total for 2014
o (x) total for 2015
o (x) total for 2016
o (x) total for 2017
o (x) total for 2018
We sought clarification re interpretation of your term ‘members of the public’ and as a result our
response reflects assaults by anyone other than another staff member.
It is acknowledged that like other hospitals around the country, under reporting of verbal abuse,
threatening behaviour and assault incidents does occur.
We are continually looking at ways of preventing incidents including, but not limited to, the regular
review of our preventative actions outlined in hazard registers, education of staff, review of near
miss and actual incidents and the identification of any trends. Being clear with patients and their
visitors that staff need to be able to get on with the job of caring for patients free from abuse,
violence and aggression and that staff will call the police, is important.
The information outlined in the table below has been obtained from our paper incident reporting
system (prior to 1 December 2015) and our electronic incident reporting system (from 1
Unfortunately I am unable to provide incident numbers specific to nursing staff, as our system
does not capture the designation of the staff member at this point in time. However, anecdotally,
at least 95% of our assault type incidents reported will be against nursing staff.
Of note, some individual incidents may also have an abuse, threat and assault component to
them and the incident may well involve more than one staff member.
The type of assault recorded varies and includes but is not limited to pushing, shoving, spitting,
throwing objects and liquids, hitting, slapping, punching, striking, kicking and biting. At times, we
see an escalation in the number of incidents often involving specific patients.
Number of Physical Assault
Incidents recorded against staff
I trust the information provided answers your questions.
Anne Kemp General Manager Safety & Environment
TARANAKI DISTRICT HEALTH BOARD