Decision for 24/7 security at Wallaroo Hospital welcomed

10 Jul 2023 media release

Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP has welcomed today’s announcement that security guards are to be stationed 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Wallaroo and Port Pirie Hospitals as soon as possible, in a six-month trial.

“This is a good decision for the safety of day and night hospital staff who deserve the full support of the department and community in providing essential front line health care at our busy hospitals.

“I am very pleased the concerns raised have been heard and congratulate the whole community who rallied behind this campaign since February for increased safety at Wallaroo Hospital, which has included a petition and signage in multiple local businesses throughout the Copper Coast.

“I am also reassured by Minister Picton the department will be looking to train security personnel in multiple tasking for optimal use of health resources”, Mr Ellis said.  

The decision to put round-the-clock security in place was made by the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network Governing Board at last week’s Governing Board meeting and follows the introduction of a 24/7 security presence at hospitals in Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln.

Security guards will initially be put in place at Port Pirie and Wallaroo for six months, during which time the Security Working Group will be expanded to include union representation. An ongoing security model will be developed during this time to be implemented long-term.

The introduction of security guards is another improvement to security arrangements at Yorke and Northern’s hospitals this year following several code black incidents involving elderly patients.

The Security Working Group – made up of staff, executives and other representatives – has already improved physical hospital spaces and CCTV as part of its review. Duress alarms and a range of training have also been provided for staff.