March 14, 2018 1:57 pm

Security beefed up at Kelowna General Hospital

Global News

Tighter security is now in place at the Okanagan’s largest hospital.

The BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU) and representatives from Interior Health (IH) announced funding to pilot new security measures at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) to enhance safety for patients, nurses and health professionals.

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“This initiative is driven by our nurses and other health-care workers who have reported feeling unsafe,” BCNU acting president Christine Sorensen said. “This is a great example of BCNU and IH collaborating on ways to reduce the prevalence of violent incidences against staff in the emergency department.”

The increased security follows a Feb. 21 meeting between the BCNU and IH where safety concerns were brought forward by the nursing staff at KGH’s emergency department relating to violence.

The funding has allowed two more full-time security officers to be hired and assigned exclusively to the emergency department on a trial basis, one for the evening shift (6 p.m. to midnight) and another for the night shift (midnight to 6 a.m.).

IH is also surveying emergency department staff to assess the degree to which they feel safe at work.

“BCNU and IH are committed to a safer workplace,” Mal Griffin, Interior Health’s vice-president of human resources, said. “We are optimistic that this collaborative, solutions-based approach to the reality of violence in the workplace will protect all health-care workers in their ability to provide safe patient care.”

Regular meetings will take place between staff and managers to ensure that ideas from those most affected are brought to the forefront.

Last year, BNCU launched a campaign called “Violence. Not part of the job”. Click here to learn more about the campaign.




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