NT PHN backs the decision to improve safety of rural area nurses

Northern Territory PHN (NT PHN) supports the Northern Territory (NT) Government’s decision to review the safety of nurses working in rural and remote areas.

The NT Government recently announced an action plan is being developed, following consultations with nursing staff representatives and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation. The action plan will integrate 14 recommendations to improve the safety for remote area nurses, and acknowledge the significant role of Indigenous community members in culturally safe primary health care. The new guidelines will include updating current programs to incorporate mandatory safety and aggression management, the development of an online orientation safety package and the provision of additional backfill nurses.

The NT Government will mandate a key recommendation known as the Second Responder Policy – an additional employee rostered on to provide cultural and physical support to an on-call nurse.

NT PHN understands that some Aboriginal medical services such as Nganampa Health Services have already adopted individual safety procedures in communities.

NT PHN welcomes the implementation of renewed safety measures for remote area nurses. The establishment of increased security will encourage the recruitment and retention of health workers in the Territory, and ensure continuing service delivery to communities.

Immediate work will commence once the action plan has been developed with a progress report expected to be issued in March 2017.

 For more information on the NT Government’s security report, visit the Department of Health.


Northern Territory PHN acknowledges the traditional owners of the country on which we work and live and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.