VIOLENCE is up against the city’s frontline medical staff, alarming new data shows.
One in four Ballarat Health Services workers has reported combative or abusive behaviour in the past year.
Violent acts toward BHS staff are up 32 per cent to almost 2200 reported cases with about one per cent of such cases resulting in staff injury or illness. These figures are part of BHS’ annual report, which is being tabled before state parliament.
BHS executive director of people and culture Fiona Brew said the organisation encourages staff to report incidents and to promote a strong reporting culture to address any issues.
“Ballarat Health Services takes its responsibilities seriously in keeping staff safe. For this reason, we have adopted a whole of organisation approach through our management of clinical aggression program,” Ms Brew said.
“We are focused on prevention, with our aim in ensuring our staff have the necessary skills in de-escalating aggressive behaviour.”
Ms Brew said WorkSafe, the state’s health and safety regulator, last year recognised BHS’ work to support and manage occupational violence and aggression in the region.
The annual report states BHS acknowledges the worrying trend in violence, up an extra 520 reported cases in Ballarat the past year, and the organisation was prioritising strategies to reduce such aggression against staff.
This includes consideration of: use of code grey drills; specialist debriefing strategies; employee support counselling services; and, training in managing clinical aggression.
Ms Brew said BHS’ focus continued to be on safe procedures, having adopted the 10-point plan from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation on addressing violence and aggression in the workplace.
BHS has about 2900 full-time equivalent workers, as of June. More than 1200 BHS workers are in nursing.
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