Mental health patients and staff across Victoria will benefit from new safety measures to reduce and prevent violence, with the first round of the Andrews Labor Government’s $10 million Health Service Violence Prevention Fund.
Visiting Box Hill Hospital today, Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, said eight metropolitan and six rural mental health facilities will share in the funding.
In Melbourne’s east, the funding will buy 90 state-of-the-art ‘3G Safety Watch’ devices for mental health teams who work out in the community.
Worn on the wrist, the 3G safety watch allows staff managing a crisis to quickly notify Emergency Services via ‘000’ of their exact Global Positioning System (GPS) location via a 24-hour security monitoring centre.
The safety watches also have an ‘Amber Alert’ function, which a doctor, nurse or paramedic can use to notify the monitoring centre that they are entering a risky environment.
They can nominate a time by which they will contact the centre again. If that contact is not made in time, emergency services will be activated automatically.
Other improvements to facilities across the state include new air-lock access doors, closed circuit television and security swipe-card systems.
The $20 million Health Service Violence Prevention Fund has $10 million in grants for general hospitals and a further $10 million for mental-health facilities.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“We are delivering on our election promise to reduce violence at hospitals and mental health services by making facilities safer for both staff and patients.”
“Nurses, doctors, paramedics and other healthcare workers are at the frontline when it comes to dealing with vulnerable, challenging people. We will support them to do their important work in safety.”