Queensland’s frontline workers tackling ice

Frontline service workers in Queensland, like ambulance officers, doctors, nurses and drug treatment service providers, are being impacted by the adverse effects of ice.

The violence and psychosis sometimes associated with ice use poses a daily risk to these workers and can impact their ability to carry out their jobs safely.

Emergency staff are often impacted by the adverse affects of ice.

Queensland Health is continuing to work with departments such as Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Police Service to implement protocols and procedures that can improve staff safety.

Queensland Health and Queensland Ambulance Service have released public awareness campaigns about occupational violence impacting emergency services and healthcare workers. These act on recommendations the Paramedic Safety Taskforce report released in April 2016.

Also included in the recommendations was the need for further tactical de-escalation training for frontline staff. More than 90 percent of paramedics have now undertaken SAFE2 tactical de-escalation training, with all staff due to complete the training by 31 March 2017.

Paramedics are now receiving more specialised training.

Work has commenced on implementing other recommendations, including rolling out duress monitoring systems in ambulances and allowing shared database information between Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Police Service. This will help frontline staff to identify and de-escalate potentially violent situations.

Other measures taken by Queensland Health to reduce occupational violence include:

Healthcare workers are receiving training on managing violence incidents.
  • trialling the ‘Ambassador Program’ in select Emergency Departments to provide early intervention to de-escalate violent situations
  • extending the use of body worn cameras by security officers in more Queensland hospitals
  • banning violent visitors and other persons (excluding patients) from health facilities
  • integrating data and technology systems to increase healthcare workers awareness of patients with a history of violence
  • a range of statewide education and training programs for healthcare workers about managing violent incidents.

There have also been upgrades to closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at Redcliffe, Princess Alexandra and Logan Hospitals and additional CCTV cameras installed at Toowoomba Hospital and Ridley Unit. Further CCTV upgrades are planned at Redlands and Queen Elizabeth II hospitals, while an increase in CCTV cameras is planned at Mornington Island Hospital.

Have you got ideas on other actions we could take to tackle ice in Queensland? Have your say by making a submission to our consultation.