News

Shadow Health Minister calls for review of hospital security

EMERGENCY departments at Darling Downs hospitals are not equipped to deal with violent patients, according to the State's Shadow Health Minister.

Mark McArdle and Parliamentary Health Committee member Ros Bates spoke of their serious concerns during a tour of the Warwick Hospital yesterday.

Mr McArdle said hospital staff were concerned about security and violence from ice addicts and mental health patients.

"There is no seclusion room in the emergency department that means a person who is a mental health patient and very violent is not put into a separate area to make sure they're safe, the patients are safe and staff are safe," he said.

"Without having a place to place ice patients or mental health patients in you escalate the risk of serious harm or injury of patients and staff."

Under the current laws, seclusion rooms are only permitted in authorised mental health outpatient facilities.

However, the Darling Downs Health and Hospital Service is considering other options.

"The DDHHS is currently exploring the option of having designated areas in our facilities for the observation and de-escalation of violent of drug/alcohol affected-patients," a spokeswoman said.

The Shadow Health Minister is calling on Warwick residents and medical staff to lobby the State Government for changes.

Mr McArdle was critical of the State Government's Ministerial taskforce, which he described as a "talk fest".

"If you don't have a seclusion room, you're placing the lives of doctors and nurses at risk," he said.

"Doctors and nurses are not punching bags, they need protection.

"The time for talking is done, we need action."

Mr McArdle's comments come less than two weeks after a mental health patient allegedly broke into a doctor's unit and dressed in medical attire before going to Toowoomba Hospital armed with a knife.

As a registered nurse, Mrs Bates said she believed having a seclusion room is "paramount".

"To not have one in a hospital like this is a shame, it's something they need to address," she said.

"We should have adequate security guards and seclusion rooms to put patient who are danger to themselves, staff and other patients."

Staff at Warwick Hospital undergo regular violence prevention training and further training to provide security services, according to the DDHHS.

"This training focuses on the identification and de-escalation of potentially violent situations," a spokeswoman said.

"Other security measures at the hospital include 24-hour swipe card access to some parts of the hospital. After-hours, entry to the hospital is via a swipe card or visitor call button."




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Southern Downs activists in national water demonstration

Sarah Moles, Marianne Irvine and Jenn Greene-Galloway take part in the national highway action as part of the #water4life campaign on the corner of the New England Hwy and Goomburra Rd.
Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News

Highway demonstration for water protection

Man injured after quad bike rolls on Warwick property

Queensland Ambulance transported a boy to the Mackay Base Hospital.

23-year-old injures ankle in quadbike crash

Latest deals and offers

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"