Frontline workers at Bendigo Hospital will be safer at work with the rollout of behavioural assessment rooms in emergency departments as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $40 million plan to prevent violence and aggression towards the health workforce.
This forms part of the Labor Government’s campaign against occupational violence to remind the community, health workers and paramedics that violence and aggression are not tolerated or accepted as “part of the job”.
It is estimated that up to 95 per cent of healthcare workers have experienced physical attacks or verbal attacks while simply doing their job caring for others and saving lives.
Behavioural assessment rooms are separate areas purpose built for staff to better assess and manage patients who present to emergency departments exhibiting behaviours of concern, and who may place themselves, staff or others at risk of harm.
The funding – delivered as part of the Government’s $40 million Health Service Violence Prevention Fund – will enable public health services to start work on upgrading existing behaviour assessment rooms, or build new ones.
In June, the Government announced funding for a further five behavioural assessment rooms as well as providing a boost to security personnel at hospitals with emergency departments.
This coincided with the start of the “It’s never OK” campaign designed to reduce occupational violence and aggression against health workers.
The first two rounds of funding from the Fund have seen more than 60 health services receive funding for a range of projects such as 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.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“We’re doing everything we can to support those who care for and save the lives of Victorians. Violence or aggression towards our health workers will not be tolerated.”
“Behavioural assessment rooms will help keep our staff safe and send a message to Victorians that violence against healthcare workers is never OK.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“We have zero tolerance for violence and aggression against our mental health workers – who care for Victorians at their most vulnerable and deserve our respect.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“Bendigo’s healthcare workers deserve to feel and be safe at work. We will continue to roll out initiatives to promote the safety and wellbeing of our health workers and paramedics – those who take such great care of our community.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“Our healthcare workers do a wonderful job looking after the community, often in difficult circumstances – and we won’t tolerate violence against them.”