Caring for the carers, are we there yet? Reaffirming resilience, redesigning and revealing the 4P’s remote workforce safety training road trip

Mrs Brenda Birch1

1CRANAplus, Wonga, Australia


If you’ve ever spent any time with the remote Australian health workforce, you will very quickly conclude that they are some of the most resilient, inspiring and committed people you’ve ever met.  But how resilient are the system in which they work? Are they adaptable to such complex and dynamic environments?  The purpose of this presentation is to challenge the need for a safety maturity model designed specifically for remote and isolated health sector.

This presentation will inform participants of the current journey to transition workforce safety and security legislation, research and guidelines into practice within the remote and isolated health workforce in Australia with a specific focus on aggression and violence.  The 4P’s approach is an inclusive and innovative risk assessment methodology to create a shared understanding of preventative, recovers and supportive controls.

How will remote or isolated clinicians, managers, educators, researchers and decision makers know if we are doing enough to protect the health and safety of remote and isolated workers? Are we measuring what matters?

Imagine having certainty of a resilient safety culture supported by a maturity assessment tool that alignments  patient, workforce, systems and community safety.   It’s time to transition global knowledge and work with communities to develop, deploying and be proud of safety strengths and a shared safety the vision for the future.


  1. Foster, P., & Hoult, S., (2013) The Safety Journey: Using a Safety Maturity Model for Safety Planning and Assurance in the UK Coal Mining Industry. Minerals, 3(1), 5972.
  2. Law, MP et al (2010) Assessment of safety culture maturity in hospital setting. Healthcare Q Spec No: 110-5.
  3. Reason, J. (1998). Achieving a safe culture: theory and practice. Work and Stress, Volume 12(3), 293-306.
  4. Hollnaguel, E., et al (2006) Resilience Engineering, Concepts and Precepts. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.


Brenda Birch (National Remote Safety and Security Educator)  is passionate about safe, high quality and inclusive healthcare for both patients and the people who provide the care.   Brenda has held several key quality, safety and risk leadership roles in VIC, NT and QLD  health sector.   Brenda has implemented risk management across a large and diverse health service which has been externally recognised as having areas of advanced maturity.

Qualifications include: RN, non-practising RM, Certificate IV Training and Assessment, Green Belt Six Sigma, Lead Auditor in Quality Management System, Certificate IV WHS, Graduate Certificate Health Service Management and Graduate Diploma Engineering.