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Provincial government to support safer health care workplaces

Funding from the B.C. government will be used to improve security at health care facilities across the province.

According to officials, the money will be used to hire about 320 protection service officers and 14 violence prevention leads.

The employees are part of an effort to implement new safety measures aimed at preventing workplace violence.

“We know that health care employees experience more workplace violence than workers in other sectors. We know that health care workers have experienced or witnessed violence in their workplace,” said Adrian Dix, B.C.’s Health Minister. “We know that workplace violence significantly affects their physical and mental health, requiring health care employees to take time off work, or worse: leave the health care field entirely.”

Dix called the situation unjustifiable and unsustainable.

Funding has been used to hire 100 full-time equivalent protection service officers in seven acute and two mental health sites within the Island Health region.

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Additionally, 26 health care facilities across the province will receive funding to establish a new security model and hire the staff to support it.

Officials said this new system is referred to as a relational security model, which will ensure security staff have an awareness of patients and other surroundings.

They will have training on how to anticipate and de-escalate aggression.

“It is based on trauma-informed practice, which integrates knowledge of how people are affected by trauma into procedures, practices and services to create a safer environment for staff and patients,” said B.C. government officials. “All protection services personnel will receive training in workplace violence prevention, mental health and advanced customer service.”

This announcement comes with $2-million in public funding put towards SWITCH BC (Safety, Wellbeing, Innovation, Training and Collaboration in Healthcare). An investment that B.C. government officials said will help better address workplace safety.

You can find a list of which healthcare facilities will implement enhances security measures below.

A relational security model is already in place, with bout 100 full-time-equivalent protection service staff at the following facilities:

  • Royal Jubilee Hospital
  • Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility
  • Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health
  • Victoria General Hospital
  • Cowichan District Hospital
  • Nanaimo Regional Hospital
  • North Island Hospital Comox Valley
  • North Island Hospital Campbell River and District
  • West Coast General Hospital

A relational security model will be set up with support staff at the following facilities:

  • Fraser Health
    • Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre
    • Burnaby Hospital
    • Chilliwack General Hospital
    • Delta Hospital
    • Langley Memorial Hospital
    • Peace Arch Hospital
    • Royal Columbian Hospital
    • Surrey Memorial Hospital
  • Interior Health
    • Cariboo Memorial Hospital
    • East Kootenay Regional Hospital
    • Kelowna General Hospital
    • Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital
    • Penticton Regional Hospital
    • Royal Inland Hospital
    • Vernon Jubilee Hospital
  • Island Health
    • Cowichan Lodge Tertiary Mental Health Facility
    • Saanich Peninsula Hospital
  • Northern Health
    • Mills Memorial Hospital
    • Prince Rupert Regional Hospital
    • University Hospital of Northern British Columbia
  • Providence Health Care
    • Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
    • St. Paul’s Hospital
  • Provincial Health Services Authority
    • BC Women’s Hospital/BC Children’s Hospital
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
    • Lions Gate Hospital
    • Richmond Hospital
    • Vancouver General Hospital
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