Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney is calling for the urgent allocation of funds to bolster security and safety at Geraldton Hospital following a vicious assault on staff last weekend.
Nursing staff were punched, had chairs thrown at them by a patient and property was smashed, leaving some involved in the incident injured.
Mr Blayney said the Health Minister needed to immediately allocate funding to provide 24/7 security at the Mid West’s biggest hospital.
“This assault is not an isolated incident and figures obtained by The Nationals WA in Parliament show a growing trend of code black incidents at Geraldton Hospital,” he said.
“Trained security staff and extra security measures need to be implemented at Geraldton as a priority to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors.
“Despite making promises to fix the hospital’s emergency department and improve security at hospitals across the State, the McGowan Government is failing its duty of care to provide a safe working environment at the region’s biggest hospital.”
From January 2017 to August 2019 there were 79 code black incidents recorded at Geraldton Hospital, the second-highest recorded at any regional hospital in WA.
A code black emergency is activated in response to a person threatening harm to others or themselves.
They can include violent altercations, verbal or physical aggression, threats made to staff, self-harm attempts or threats and armed intruders.
Nationals WA health spokesperson Martin Aldridge said despite the State Government announcing $11.23 million for the prevention of violence and aggressive behaviour in the health system there was still no indication any funding would go to Geraldton.
“The Minister has refused to provide any detail of where the $11.23 million will be spent or how many security staff would be hired to protect regional health workers,” he said.
“Today the Minister announced $430,000 to address violence at Kalgoorlie Health Campus, which recorded 191 code blacks over the same time frame.
“We welcome that allocation but more of this funding needs to be spread to regional hospitals where safety is being regularly put at risk by an increasing trend of violent and aggressive behaviour.
“Geraldton Hospital has the second busiest emergency department of any regional hospital. In October this year alone, it received almost 2700 ED attendances – the safety of its patients, health workers and visitors need to be prioritised by the McGowan Government.”