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ED patients will be given food as part of anti-violence trial

Photo: While-you-wait dining for Qld ED patients
Patients at two Queensland hospital emergency departments will be given food and an explanation if there's a long wait in a bid to lower violence against staff.

Patients at risk of losing their patience during a long wait in the emergency department will be given food as part of an anti-violence trial in two Queensland hospitals.

The trial, which the Queensland government claims is an Australian first, will feature security staff providing waiting patients with food and updates on why they're waiting at Gympie and Nambour hospitals.

The initiative is part of a statewide focus that the Labor government began last year on reducing violence towards healthcare staff in the state's hospitals.
Security staff in Brisbane's northern suburbs and Gold Coast already have been equipped with body-worn cameras similar to those worn by police officers.

Metro North Health Service chief executive Ken Whelan said the cameras had a dual role.

"They are making a big difference, not only acting as a deterrent for potential violence but also assisting the QPS when it comes to prosecuting offenders," Mr Whelan said.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the initiatives and trials were all based on recommendations from the government's Occupational Violence Oversight Committee.

Mr Dick says as well as the trial in Gympie and Nambour, a range of other initiatives, including CCTV upgrades, victim support, occupational training and increased security will be implemented across the state's health services.


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