The family of a nurse who was raped and murdered during a late night call-out in March 2016 expressed their devastation over SafeWork SA’s finding that the victim’s death was not work-related.
According to an ABC News report, South Australia’s workplace health and safety regulator determined the Gayle Woodford’s death was not linked to the night-time on-call work she was tasked to do.
In a letter sent to the victim’s husband, SafeWork SA said it has already completed its investigation and forwarded its findings to the Coroner’s office that the death of her wife was not work-related.
ABC says SafeWork is currently reviewing the decision followings questions from Australian Story.
The victim was the on-call nurse at the time of her death. Her killer, a convicted sex offender lured her to come out of her Fregon home saying that her grandmother needed Panadol. He then stole the victim’s clinic ambulance with the victim in it and drove to a nearby scrubland where he raped, killed the victim and buried her in a shallow grave.
The thirty-five-year-old perpetrator pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
Woodford’s death prompted a campaign to introduce Gayle’s Law requiring single nurse posts to be abolished. Since her death, the health service has adopted a community escort system preventing patients going directly to nurses’ houses after hours.
In January 2017, CRANAPlus released a report commissioned by the Federal Government containing 33 recommendations to improve safety and security of the remote health workforce.
SafeWork SA told ABC the matter has been referred to a new director who is currently reviewing the decision.