BEEFING UP: Warwick Hospital is set to receive an upgrade to its security measures.
BEEFING UP: Warwick Hospital is set to receive an upgrade to its security measures. Jonno Colfs

Warwick Hospital to see share of $3M security revamp

SECURITY is set to be upgraded at Warwick Hospital after Darling Downs Health announced more than $3 million of spending towards improved safety measures across the region.

A Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service spokesman said planning was under way to ensure the safety and security of patients, visitors and staff.

Improvements could include additional security doors and protective screens in reception areas and lights.

More CCTV cameras will be installed and swipe-card access will be introduced for entry into certain areas.

During a visit to Warwick last week, Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates said the local hospital had better security than a lot of other regional facilities.

"They have a good relationship with the police and good lock-down areas," Mrs Bates said.

But as a former nurse herself, Mrs Bates said greater measures needed to be taken for hospital staff, some of whom could face more than five direct threats to their safety within an eight-hour shift.

At a recent attack at Toowoomba Hospital, a male nurse had to be resuscitated three times with defibrillator paddles after the alleged attack by a patient in the mental health unit of the hospital.

"Nurses shouldn't be punching bags," she said.

"For every complaint we know there's another that isn't reported.

"Nurses don't usually come off night duty after being assaulted and make a complaint."

Mrs Bates said measures such as body cameras on security guards and nearby police beats were essential to ensuring the safety of all involved.

The DDHHS spokesman said each hospital was unique and required a program of works tailored to those requirements.

"Preparations for these projects are under way with a team of DDHHS project managers," he said.



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