More security guards to keep hospitals safer for all

Health workers, patients and visitors will be safer in hospitals across Victoria as more security guards are deployed as part of another Victorian Government initiative to stamp out violence in hospitals.

Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy has announced 30 health services operating across 44 hospital sites will share in nearly $6.7 million to increase security staffing and mobile security patrol services across hospitals.

This boost will deliver an extra 123 full-time equivalent security guards who will play a vital role patrolling hospital grounds, preventing and deescalating violent and aggressive situations, escorting staff to cars and responding to Code Grey calls and duress alarms.

In addition to the security guards, both Kooweerup Regional Health Service and Rochester and Elmore District Health Service will benefit from the establishment of nightly mobile security patrol services that will visit the hospital and respond to incidents.

This funding will play a key role in the recently announced Australian-first standardised Code Grey policy, which all hospitals must have in place, guiding how hospitals prevent, respond and reduce violence against healthcare workers – but also patients and hospital visitors.

It is estimated that up to 95 per cent of healthcare workers have experienced physical or verbal attacks while simply doing their job caring for others and saving lives.

The Victorian Government’s “It’s never OK” campaign is designed to reduce occupational violence and aggression against healthcare workers and paramedics. We are making it clear abuse is not a part of the job and it will not be tolerated.

The Victorian Government is investing an extra $20 million in the Health Service Violence Prevention Fund, taking our total investment to $40 million. This includes funding for new behavioural assessment rooms at 16 Victorian hospitals to better manage and assess patients who may place themselves, staff or others at risk of harm.

So far, more than 60 health services have received funding for a range of safety initiatives including installing alarms, CCTV, access control doors, lighting and security systems as well as redesigning waiting areas and trialling new equipment such as body-worn cameras for paramedics and stab-proof vests for hospital workers.

Source: Vic Government