Safety boost for Bendigo Health

Behavioural assessment rooms in emergency departments are being rolled out across the state to prevent violence and aggression towards workers.

The 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.

This roll out is part of the state 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.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said Bendigo’s healthcare workers deserved to feel and be safe at work.

“We will continue to roll out initiatives to promote the safety and well-being of our health workers and paramedics – those who take such great care of our community,” she said.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said the behavioural assessment rooms would help keep staff safe and send a message to Victorians that violence against healthcare workers was never OK.

“We’re doing everything we can to support those who care for and save the lives of Victorians,” she said. “Violence or aggression towards our health workers will not be tolerated.”

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.