Australia’s first emergency response policy to better protect healthcare workers launched

The Victorian Government has recently released a new Australian first emergency response policy to better protect workers, patients, and visitors from violence in hospitals.

Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy today announced all Victorian hospitals will be required to implement a clear and standardised Code Grey policy for responding to, preventing, or reducing a violent situation.

The new statewide guidelines include minimum requirements that all Victorian hospitals must have in place to respond to an actual or potential threat to help hospitals better prepared for, implement and evaluate a Code Grey emergency response to reduce the risk of injury to staff, patients and visitors and minimise potential exposure to violence.

A clear policy will empower staff to call a Code Grey whenever they feel at risk and to know that an appropriate response will be triggered to de-escalate the situation.

The strengthened standards will set minimum requirements for training of staff, approaches to handling difficult or aggressive patients and visitors, and will help promote a culture where staff are supported to call out unacceptable behaviour.

A Code Grey can be called in an actual or potentially violent, aggressive, abusive or threatening behaviour that creates a risk to health and safety.

“Violence should never be ‘just part of the job’. Our new Code Grey standards will ensure all hospitals, no matter how big or small, can prevent violence and keep their staff and patients safe,” said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“Our dedicated healthcare workers care for us at our most vulnerable. They deserve to feel and be safe at work.

“We are sending a strong message that violence against healthcare workers is never OK.”

It is estimated that up to 95 percent of healthcare workers have experienced physical or verbal attacks while doing their job. The Government launched the “It’s never OK” campaign this year to reduce occupational violence and aggression against healthcare workers and paramedics.

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