|News and media|
Police security review at Waikato HospitalWaikato Hospital has employed a security manager at its Hamilton campus.
The appointment was one of four recommendations made by Waikato Police in a research review completed last month by a police district problem-solving team.
Waikato District Health Board sought help from the police following a number of security issues at the hospital this year.
They included the theft of patients’ food, staff belongings, and equipment and in March, the assault of an emergency department doctor and three teenagers had hospital trespass notices slapped on them for intimidating staff and patients while visiting a friend.
About 4500 staff work at the hospital and in the last financial year, more than 181,000 people had outpatient visits, 78,000 went to the emergency department and nearly 90,000 patients admitted. On any day, about 5300 people visit the hospital.
Waikato DHB chief executive Craig Climo said the police review highlighted a number of security issues for hospital management.
Appointing a security manager was the most important recommendation. Interviews took place last week and an appointment made.
The security manager will drive the review’s recommendations one of which also included the appointment of a police liaison officer to work with the security manager.
In the 18 months from January 2008 to June 2009, there were 150 offences recorded by police where the scene description was Waikato Hospital campus.
Theft was the highest followed by assaults and then car conversion.
Waikato police district commander Allan Boreham said the security challenges of such a large campus provided a unique opportunity for police and Waikato DHB to form a partnership to improve community safety.
“This relationship will benefit both organisations and a proactive partnership will engender strong community reassurance, confidence and trust for the public and staff within the hospital.”
Mr Boreham said the open manner in which hospital staff made themselves available to the review team laid the foundations for a successful partnership between the two organisations.
Mr Climo said clinicians sometime tended to feel that reporting matters to police would detract from a patient’s treatment.
“We need a culture change to say that good duty of care also includes good proactive security. The duty of care is not only for the person getting treatment but also for other patients and staff.
“People who breach security while being treated or visited should be dealt with in an appropriate and consistent manner reinforcing the message that we will not tolerate these types of actions,” he said.
Date: 7 September 2009
Mary Anne Gill
Media and Communications
Waikato District Health Board
Ph: 07 834 3684
Fax: 07 839 8680
Mobile: 021 705 213
Waikato Police District
Ph 07 8349444