A new tender for security patrols across three Melbourne hospitals has been released to increase safety for staff, visitors and patients. Government is now calling for security services.
The news follows the announcement by Minister for Health Jill Hennessy that 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.
Ms Hennessy said that many violent incidences toward staff go unreported and that everyone has a right to a safe work environment.
“There is just no excuse whatsoever for aggression towards staff in our hospitals. Like us all, our dedicated doctors and nurses deserve to feel safe at work.”
“Sadly, too often health workers are confronted with abuse and threats, all while doing their best caring for us at our most vulnerable.”
“Hospital staff, as well as patients and visitors, can rest assured our Government is committed to stamping out aggression towards health workers,” she said.
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. The security guards will also be escorting staff to their cars and responding to Code Grey calls and duress alarms.
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.
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.
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