Friday, 15 June 2012

Nurses Fear for Safety

In December 2011, mentally ill 12-18 year olds were due to move from Footscray into a new psychiatric ward as part of a $1 billion facility upgrade at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH), Melbourne.

Shortly before the move the nursing staff concluded the ward to be unsafe and felt they could and would not work in a potentially dangerous environment. An article by The Age states, “They [nurses] claim security staff has been halved and personal panic alarms do not work, potentially putting nurses at risk when trying to restrain violent adolescents”.

The 16-bed Banksia ward was designed under the “least restrictive environment” approach, as specified by the Victorian Mental Health Act, taking away lock-up enclosures to avoid imitating a prison. As patients saw this as a positive, nurses immediately saw the potential danger associated with the plan and demanded a safe working environment with active duress alarms before moving into the ward.

Integrated Wireless (IW) were given the opportunity to showcase to RCH our unique offering currently in place at Dandenong Hospital. Based on the success reached there and throughout many sites Australia-wide, RCH awarded IW the business. After putting in place an Ekahau RTLS tracking system with to-the-second updates and Ascom i62 handheld devices with duress functionality, the nursing staff felt at ease and the move was complete early 2012.

The Royal Children's Hospital now have over 600 i62 handsets throughout the hospital and our ongoing support should any problems arise.

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