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Australia Gayle Woodford inquest told health council did not assess risk for outback nurses working alone

07:35  15 january  2020
07:35  15 january  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Outback nurse Gayle Woodford was attacked two years before her rape and murder, inquest heard

  Outback nurse Gayle Woodford was attacked two years before her rape and murder, inquest heard South Australian outback nurse Gayle Woodford, who was raped and murdered in the APY Lands, was assaulted by a different criminal in the same remote community two years before her death, an inquest has heard. The 56-year-old mother was employed by the Nganampa Health Council (NHC) as a nurse and was working in the APY Lands community of Fregon when she was murdered by convicted rapist Dudley Davey in March 2016.She was on-call alone on the night she was raped and killed after responding to Davey, who was seeking medical assistance.Davey was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 32 years.

A coronial inquest into the murder of outback nurse Gayle Woodford has heard "a catalogue of blunders" allowed her killer to "slip through the cracks".

The remote South Australian community of Fregon, where outback nurse Gayle Woodford was brutally raped An inquest into the death of nurse Gayle Woodford in South Australia has been told the town where she Ms Woodford , who was employed by the Nganampa Health Council , was

a couple of people posing for the camera: Gayle Woodford, who was murdered in 2016, with her daughter Alison. (Supplied: Keith Woodford)© Provided by ABC NEWS Gayle Woodford, who was murdered in 2016, with her daughter Alison. (Supplied: Keith Woodford)

The outback health service provider which employed murder victim Gayle Woodford ignored police advice that its nurses should not work alone, an inquest has heard.

The recommendation from senior police on the APY Lands in remote South Australia was made to Nganampa Health Council (NHC) management in 2012, following the sexual assault of another of its nurses in a different outback community.

That community's clinic was closed down because of the attack.

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  Inquest opens into SA nurse's brutal rape and murder A man with an extensive history of violent sexual offending "slipped through the cracks" before he brutally raped and murdered an outback nurse in 2016 , the South Australian deputy coroner has heard.Gayle Woodford's body was found buried in a crude grave three days after she went missing from her Fregon home in SA's north.Dudley Davey subsequently pleaded guilty to her rape and murder and is serving a minimum 32-year jail term.It's believed Davey had tricked Ms Woodford into opening a security cage around her home and overpowered her as she walked to her ambulance.

Gayle Woodford inquest hears town of Fregon is a 'lawless place' : Prospecting friend still a suspect in disappearance of Raymond and Jennie Kehlet (Supplied) A retired remote area doctor who worked with murdered outback nurse Gayle Woodford has told a coronial inquest that Fregon was the

A lawless outback town likened to the 'old Wild West' is facing calls to be shut down after a nurse was killed. A coronial inquest into the death of Mrs Woodford this week heard pleas to shut down the Retired GP Dr Glynis Johns told the inquest on Tuesday she had been pushing for a full time police

Mrs Woodford was raped and murdered while alone and on-call in the community of Fregon in 2016.

She had worked for the NHC for five years, and her attacker Dudley Davey was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 32 years in 2017.

David Busuttil — who was the NHC's health services manager when Mrs Woodford was killed — told the coronial inquest into her death his organisation had never carried out risk assessments for nurses working alone until after the murder.

"It took that to get external advice but I thought we were addressing these issues as best we could and taking steps to make staff safer," he said.

Mr Busuttil, who left his NHC role in 2018, said he could not recall the specific meeting with police where they advised him and other NHC staff not to allow nurses to work alone, but told the inquest that officers "did say something like that".

Gayle Woodford inquest hears town of Fregon is a 'lawless place'

  Gayle Woodford inquest hears town of Fregon is a 'lawless place' A retired remote area doctor who worked with murdered outback nurse Gayle Woodford tells a coronial inquest that Fregon was the most violent community she had ever worked in. Mrs Woodford's body was found in a shallow grave near Fregon in South Australia's remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in March 2016. Mrs Woodford had worked as a nurse with Nganampa Health Council (NHC) for nearly five years and was on call the night she was killed. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

Gayle Woodford 's death prompted calls for greater safety provisions for remote health workers . More From ABC NEWS. Government criticised for not doing enough to tackle climate change. Inquest into nurse 's murder in outback hears of killer's background.

An inquest into the death of outback nurse Gayle Woodford is set to begin in South Australia, and may not hear from the man convicted of her rape and He rejected claims by a senior executive of Nganampa Health Council that Ms Woodford could have let herself out of the cage for a personal

"I don't recall doing anything specific with [the advice]," he said.

Police also suggested the clinic's staff undertake personal safety training which officers were "happy to provide".

NHC closed down a health clinic in another APY Lands community — which the ABC has chosen not to name for legal reasons — following the sexual assault of a nurse inside that clinic.

"There were three serious incidents there, there was no police presence … there was no other nursing staff working in the community," Mr Busuttil told the inquest.

"I thought it was too risky to continue providing services.

"[It's] different to Fregon where there were multiple staff employed.

"The incidents that occurred at Fregon were generally during the day and with individual perpetrators."

The inquest heard the sexual assault in the other APY Lands community occurred at 2:00pm.

Nurses previously raised security concerns

The outback township of Fregon, in South Australia's far north-west, does not have a permanent police presence.

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According to the husband of a killed nurse , when hospital workers raised concerns over safety they were told 'if you don't like it, leave'. A man with an extensive history of violent sexual offending "slipped through the cracks" before he brutally raped and murdered outback nurse Gayle Woodford

Gayle Woodford 's death has prompted calls for greater safety provisions for remote health workers .

Police raised the idea of having security guards at health clinics, but Mr Busuttil said he had no recollection of such a suggestion.

"I don't recall that part of it," he said.

Deputy state coroner Anthony Schapel has previously heard that nurses in Fregon had also suggested to management the use of security guards to address their safety concerns.

But Mr Busuttil said he could only remember that being raised by a nurse on one occasion, and told the inquest he did not discuss the idea with other NHC managers.

"In retrospect, yes I should have," he said.

"We've always said to staff if it's too unsafe to provide healthcare, you don't need to provide healthcare."

The inquest heard the NHC had still done no financial modelling on employing a security guard at Fregon, despite that being a recommendation of an independent review following Mrs Woodford's death.

"The cost of it would have been outside any government agency," Mr Busuttil said.

"Plus I also know there'd be a big time lag if we had to construct a house [for a guard to live in]."

The NHC is mostly funded by the federal Department of Health.

Glynis Johns, a former doctor who had worked with Mrs Woodford in Fregon, yesterday told the inquest she found the level of violence so concerning she had suggested the community be closed unless better support was provided.

Dr Johns said she approached authorities multiple times to request a stronger police presence in Fregon.

Mr Busuttil today told the inquest that was one of the most commonly-raised issues at Country Cabinet meetings in the APY Lands.

"Anangu elders actually see policing as part of the strategy … they've supported lobbying to get a greater police presence," he said.

Why man who was the last person to see couple alive before they perished in the outback while searching for gold had to be FORCED to testify at inquest into their mysterious deaths .
Raymond Kehlet, 47, and his wife Jennie, 49, never returned from a prospecting trip to Sandstone, about 660km north of Perth, in March 2015 with Graham Milne.A suspect in the mysterious deaths of his two 'good friends' while prospecting in remote Western Australia has been forced to testify at their inquest despite concerns he could incriminate himself.

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