Staff can feel safer with introduction of body cameras
IT'S SAID that prevention is better than a cure and that analogy now rings true at Gladstone Hospital after body-worn cameras were rolled out yesterday.
The devices record video and audio and have proven to be a valuable tool during the initial trial at Rockhampton Hospital, acting as a visual deterrent while accurately capturing evidence related to occupational violence.
Aaron Bryant, coordinator of security services at Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, hopes the Axon Body 2 cameras, the same type worn by Queensland Police officers, will reduce incidents at Gladstone Hospital.
"We're hoping these will act as a bit of a deterrent - when the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital brought theirs in they really struggled to get an incident on tape in the emergency department purely because it was that much of a deterrent," he said.
"People didn't want to engage physically, verbally we've still got footage of that down there, but we didn't get any physical invention or assaults.
"It records very accurately and post-event we're able to use it as evidence... We don't look at the footage unless we're following up an an incident."
The cameras will only activate when staff are confronted by aggressive behaviour.
Mr Bryant said Rockhampton had 12,229 'Code Black' events last year, which can be a personal threat, aggression or likelihood of aggression and this year they've had an average of 145 per month.
Code Black events differ from actual assaults with 135 taking place in CQ hospitals during the past year.
CQHHS is still gathering data for Gladstone Hospital.