Ambulance Service of New South Wales
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Healthy Workplace Strategies

We are playing a lead role in a culture change process that is being implemented across the entire NSW health system. This process is aimed at fostering a healthy and supportive workplace environment and improving the management of workplace concerns.

One of our key initiatives has been development of healthy workplace strategies designed to improve the workplace environment, promote early resolution of workplace conflict at a local level, help staff members resolve workplace issues and to simplify policies and procedures for managing workplace concerns.

A new Healthy Workplace Strategies section has been established with our Workforce Unit to coordinate systems to manage and monitor any workplace conflict and to ensure that the strategies comply with relevant legislative requirements and NSW Ministry of Health policy.

Following a review of policies and procedures for handling grievances and complaints and consultation with staff members, there has been an extensive range of activities as part of the Healthy Workplace Strategies Program including:

  • provision of Respectful Workplace Training for all staff in use of the Straight Talk tool;
  • new simplified Standard Operating Procedures for Raising Workplace Concerns and Preventing and Managing Workplace Bullying;
  • continuing workshops, forums and surveys to discuss and promote Our Values
  • an enhanced staff induction program which includes Respectful Workplace Training;
  • review and strengthening of support services for staff;
  • the appointment of Grievance Contact Officers;
  • access to trained mediators if issues cannot be readily resolved at a local level;
  • inclusion of staff relationships as a standing item on staff and management meetings to ensure that staff issues are being dealt with appropriately;
  • additional skills and training for frontline managers through the Ambulance Management Qualification; and,
  • including the implementation and application of healthy workplace strategies management accountabilities in all mangers' annual appraisals.


Staff Support Services

Staff support programs provide for early intervention in the workplace and encourage staff to seek assistance and support to enable them to achieve timely and satisfactory solutions for their personal and/or work related issues. This contributes to an effective human resources and OHS framework that promotes workplace health, injury prevention and the welfare and well being of staff, and facilitates a productive and harmonious workplace.

In this regard, NSW Ambulance provides confidential counselling for employees, volunteers and their families. Our contracted provider of the Employee Assistance Program provides confidential trauma support counselling 24/7 on a range of personal and work issues. Staff also have access to Peer Support Officers, Chaplains and Grievance Contact Officers throughout the State.

Peer Support Officers are employees who are trained to provide practical support and to defuse strong emotional reactions experienced by their work colleagues in response to a traumatic incidents.

NSW Ambulance Chaplains are available to provide confidential and individual spiritual counselling, pastoral care and assistance to employees, patients and their families following a traumatic incident, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Grievance Contact Officers are staff who voluntarily assist their colleagues in times of need by:

  • Providing confidential advice to staff seeking information on workplace grievances; including concerns about potential bullying and harassment;
  • Assisting parties involved in the grievance to generate options to resolve their grievance;
  • Directing both parties to appropriate NSW Ambulance policies, procedures and staff support services;
  • Providing support in relation to the impact of the concerns on the affected parties;
  • Recognising the need and referring colleagues who may benefit from professional assistance; and
  • Arranging professional support from the Employee Assistance Program provider.


100601grievance A grievance counselling service is just one aspect of Healthy Workplace Strategies.