Unfortunately, up to 95% of healthcare workers have experienced verbal or physical assault. At The Royal Melbourne Hospital, we are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients and consumers, but to do this, we need to ensure the safety of the people who provide that care. 

Any acts of violence or aggression are unacceptable - we want all of our staff, patients, consumers and visitors to feel safe and respected.

What is occupational violence and aggression?

Occupational violence and aggression can be defined as any incident where an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances arising out of, or in the course of their employment.

The following behaviours are not acceptable:

  • Aggressive behaviour, harassment and intimidation
  • Rude or threatening language or name calling
  • Physical attacks to people or property
  • Obscene, racist, sexist or demeaning language

If you witness aggressive behaviour, please advise a member of staff immediately.

Patient and visitor expectations:

We are committed to working with our patients and consumers to improve their experience and outcomes. We work together as partners, treating one another with respect and trust.

Patients, consumers and visitors have the right to feel emotionally and physically safe, to be listened to and treated with respect and dignity. Our staff also have the right to feel emotionally and physically safe. Patients, consumers and visitors have a responsibility to ensure their actions do not threaten or harm others.

Our staff are required to report all incidents. Security can be called in any situation where people feel threatened or unsafe and, in extreme situations, police will be called. Assault is a crime and it is our policy to cooperate with police to prosecute anyone who assaults a member of our staff.

What are we doing to keep our patients and our staff safe?

We have a range of programs and initiatives in place to help keep our patients, visitors and staff safe. These include:

  • CCTV in public areas at the City and Royal Park Campuses which operate 24/7
  • Body worn cameras for all of our security staff – during violent or aggressive situations, these cameras may be switched on to record any incidents
  • Staff training and education
  • Duress alarms for our staff
  • Drug detector dogs in our mental health facilities
  • Behaviour contracts
  • Letters are sent to patients who choose to behave in a violent or aggressive manner, explaining that if they present to the hospital again, they would be required to make a commitment to behave appropriately. An alert is recorded on the patients’ medical file and security may be asked to be present for a future presentation.

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