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Hospital Security Staff Get Stab-Proof Vests

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tony Ryall
Tony Ryall

Wellington, Aug 9 NZPA - Hospital security staff in Christchurch are being issued with stab-proof vests after more than 500 reported assaults by patients in the past year.

Security officers at Christchurch and Hillmorton Hospitals were now supplied vests as part of their uniform after a four-month trial, The Press reported.

Canterbury District Health Board general manager of corporate services Murray Dickson said it was "unfortunate" that the vests were needed, but he wanted staff to feel safe.

Staff and police had removed knives from visitors and patients in the past, he said.

"We want to protect them [staff] and give some comfort to them doing their job."

In the past year, there had been 527 reported assaults on staff, with 360 in the mental health area.

Canterbury District Health Board chairman Alister James had asked the Government to include frontline health workers in legislation that made attacks on police and prison staff an aggravating factor at sentencing for assaults.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said he would pass the idea onto Cabinet.

 

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