Emergency department works at Wimmera Health Care Group to prevent occupational violence

STAND: Ambulance Victoria's Paul Burton, Horsham Police Sergeant Jason Bergen and Wimmera Health Care Group's Matt Mellington stand behind emergency department associate nurse unit manager Verity Drysdale.

STAND: Ambulance Victoria's Paul Burton, Horsham Police Sergeant Jason Bergen and Wimmera Health Care Group's Matt Mellington stand behind emergency department associate nurse unit manager Verity Drysdale.

CHANGES to Wimmera Health Care Group’s emergency department aim to prevent occupational violence. 

The works on a new triage room and behavioural assessment room within the health service’s emergency department are now complete.

The health service’s clinical services director Don McRae said the Department of Health had funded the works at the hospital in Horsham.

Mr McRae said the works had commenced in March and were completed on schedule.

He said the works were part of the health service’s overall focus on reducing rates of occupational violence.

The works have created a new triage area in the emergency department, where patients are assessed on the urgency of their condition on arrival to the hospital.

The works also increase the number of treatment bays to include a behavioural assessment room.

Mr McRae said this space would help staff appropriately manage patients who might prove to be a risk to themselves, staff and other patients.

“The inclusion of the behavioural assessment room improves safety within the department immensely for staff and patients and other agencies we work with such as Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police,” Mr McRae said.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in occupational violence and behaviours of concern in the Emergency Department and a room like this has become necessary to provide safer care for everyone.

“The room allows a patient to be separated from other patients in an environment that improves their safety and the safety of the people who are assessing or treating them.” 

Mr McRae said patients had shown a high level of understanding throughout the works period. 

“Everyone was very patient during the building works and we have received great feedback on the changes,” he said. 

Mr McRae said the design changes to the Emergency Department, along with de-escalation training and techniques implemented with staff, has seen an improvement in the way patients were managed at Wimmera Health Care Group.

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