The Liberal member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Andrews Labor Government to provide funds to upgrade security measures at Goulburn Valley Health, to improve the health and safety of both staff and patients at the hospital.
Speaking during an adjournment debate in State Parliament to the Health Minister Jill Hennessy, Ms Lovell said there was genuine concern among staff at the hospital on the amount of violent incidents they face whilst at work and increased security was clearly needed.
“Information I have received from staff at GV Health is that they have lost count of the amount of times they and other colleagues have been physically and verbally abused by violent patients,” Ms Lovell said.
“On a normal shift only one security guard is on duty to protect the entire hospital, a situation that fails to ensure patient and employee safety.”
The Goulburn Valley Health Annual Report 2016/17 reports that the number of reported occupational violence incidents was 188, a drop of 57 reported incidents from 2015/16.
Ms Lovell said that although the drop in violent incidents from the preceding 12 months was welcomed, she was concerned about marked increase in the severity of reported occupational violence incidents.
“In the 2015/16 reporting year, the percentage of occupational violence incidents at GV Health that resulted in a staff injury, illness or condition was 4.89%. The 2016/17 year saw this figure increase to 7.98%, a worrying trend that shows the increased severity of violent incidents at the hospital,” Ms Lovell said.
“In July 2017, the Andrews Labor Government announced funds to increase security across 44 hospital sites yet only one security guard is on duty at any one time at GV Health,” Ms Lovell said.
“It is time the Health Minister took action to protect the dedicated and professional health-care providers at GV Health and their patients.”