December 10, 2015

Physical Assaults Soaring at Queensland Hospitals

Staff at four of Queensland's key public hospitals are regularly being assaulted by patients and the number of incidents has soared in the past year, according to a special investigation by ABC.

Staff report being kicked, hit, spat on and seriously injured, suffering fractures, trauma and stress.

In the past three years 831 incidents were recorded at Princess Alexandra Hospital, the highest figure with Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital reporting 636, Cairns registered 641 and Gold Coast University Hospital 587.

Nurses are bearing the brunt of the assaults but doctors and catering staff have also been assaulted.

The severity of attacks is also escalating, with 107 worker's compensation claims lodged at the four hospitals in the last financial years - a big increase on numbers for the two previous years.

In the same period, reports recorded with Queensland Health's incident management system (IMS) jumped to 1,121 in the year ending June 2015, far above the 824 recorded in 2013-14 and 866 in 2012-13.

Clinical assault reduction training