The McGowan Government has recently committed to additional security, more than just security alarms Bunbury, for the hospital staff of Western Australia, in order to protect them from aggressive and drug-addled patients.$2.2 million will be allocated for personal security measures like anti-stab vests and personal alarms.
The initiative will be rolled out over a three year time span with the hopes of addressing the escalating violence plaguing hospitals and other health facilities throughout the state.
About 250 anti-stab vests, each worth approximately $1000, will provided primarily to security officers, while approximately 2500 personal mobile security alarms Bunbury, each costing $570, will be provided to a wide range of health workers across WA.
According to Health Minister, these new measures will be added to currently existing security measures, and distribution would prioritize medical and security staff that commonly handle “high-risk patients” like mental health patients and people under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He also said that staff working in such high-risk conditions and locations, like those in emergency departments, mental health units and the like, would also qualify for the personal alarms.
Mr. Cook says that the personal security alarms Bunbury would also mitigate the risks of injuries at home visits as well as help keep staff safe in remote nursing posts.
He says that the project would be getting its funding from the 2018-2019 State Budget, and was needed to provide additional protection to staff, who he believes have the inherent right to feel safe and secure in their workplace.
According to data from 2017, there were 11,304 “Code Blacks” for aggressive incidents at three of the most violent hospitals in the city of Perth; Fiona Stanley, Royal Perth, and Sir Charles Gairdner.
However, some have criticized the measure, saying that these new measures would not be effective. Health Services Union WA Secretary Dan Hill suggested, instead, that more security officers to protect workers in EDs were needed across the state, particularly in more violent locations like Bunbury Hospital, where ED had been violently assaulted in the past few years and aggressive confrontations were commonplace.
Others are saying that the money could, instead, be better spent on extra security and ED staff for the hospitals, in order to ensure less congestion and issues of “bottlenecks”, which some say tend to lead to aggressive work environs.