More funds to keep our health workers safe at work

More hospitals and mental health services will boost security for frontline health workers, visitors and patients thanks to the third round of the Victorian Government’s Health Service Violence Prevention Fund.

Visiting St Vincent’s Hospital, Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announced 22 more health services will share in more than $7 million of funding for equipment to help keep frontline workers safe. This includes 11 metropolitan health services and11 regional and rural health services, of which 14 are health services with mental health services.

Major safety and security upgrades in this round include more CCTV systems, duress alarms, access control doors, as well as projects to redesign waiting areas, build sensory rooms and redesign entrances.

We are expanding trials of new equipment such as body-worn cameras at Dandenong Hospital and Monash Medical Centre in Clayton, and providing stab-proof vests at St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy.

St Vincent’s hospital will receive nearly $480,000 for 22 stab-proof vests and better access control systems and duress alarms. The hospital will also refurbish its acute inpatient unit for mental health patients.

So far, more than 60 health services have received funding for a range of safety initiatives through the Health Service Violence Prevention Fund.

The Government is investing an extra $20 million in the Health Service Violence Fund, taking our total to $40 million. This includes 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.

We are also deploying an extra 123 full-time equivalent security guards to 30 hospitals operating across 44 hospital sites across Victoria.

And in an Australian-first, all hospitals are required to implement a clear and standardised Code Grey policy for responding to, preventing or reducing a violent situation.

The Government’s “It’s never OK” campaign is designed to reduce occupational violence and aggression against healthcare workers and paramedics.

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.

Source: Vic Government