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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 282 asked in the Legislative Council on 31 March 2020 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

HOSPITALS — SECURITY STAFF

282. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

I indicate that the Nationals WA will rotate our questions to ensure that each member's attendance in the house is recorded.

I refer to the minister's commitment in August and October 2019 of more than $11 million to stop hospital violence and aggression.

(1) How much of the $11.23 million package has now been implemented?

(2) Which hospital sites are still awaiting the deployment of committed security staff?

(3) Of those identified in (2), with respect to each site, what is the current shortfall in deployed staff by full-time equivalent?

(4) Will the minister commit immediately to fast-tracking the implementation of his commitment, particularly in light of the increasing demand on our hospitals as a result of COVID-19?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(4) The Minister for Health is committed to reducing violence and improving the safety of staff and visitors to the Western Australian public hospitals. The $11.23 million Stop the Violence package identified operational and capital initiatives to be implemented in 2019–20.

Health service providers have been making efforts to implement the Stop the Violence package since the announcement. Work has continued to ensure that the packages can be delivered within the 2019–20 financial year. The Department of Health is not able to provide specific details on the progress of individual initiatives in the time available to respond to the question due to the current unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 and demands on the WA Health system and its staff. The Department of Health advises that a number of additional alcohol and other drug specialists, as well as security officers, have already been hired and have commenced work with the emergency departments of Western Australian hospitals as part of this package, and multiple capital improvement packages are already underway, which have increased the safety and security of WA Health staff.