Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hospital staff feeling unsafe re the actions of drunks!

The Herald reported today that the situation in some of our hospital re ‘drunks’ and various other ‘substance abusers’ has become intolerable. Staff and other patients are being put at risk. This is not a new story. I well remember hearing and reading about such occurrences many years ago. The days of a grumpy ‘sister’ being able to control the actions of badly behaved patients or their visitors have long gone. Hospitals have had security for quite some years but it appears that this is not enough now to prevent the behaviours that are becoming common place. We must find solutions or accept that it is just part of life now. Of course we cannot just cave in! The safety of all must be addressed. Organizationally, perhaps hospital need to look at an expanded role and better training for their security staff. Perhaps we need police stationed at all times in the problem spots where and when these events more commonly occur. The bottom line must be that when other patients and staff are either threatened or directly endangered, there must be a consequence for those behaving in this diabolical manner. Being ‘drunk or under the influence of a substance,’ cannot be used as an excuse, much like we do not let that happen (although one does wonder when some of the responses from judges are examined!) re other crimes that are committed. People makes choices---they drink, take substances that alter behaviours, then they must face up to their stupid decisions that end up endangering others and themselves. I am against user pays re health issues but I am not affronted by the idea of people who choose to go down the route of behaving in the ways we are seeing, having to pay for their ‘choices.’ We must keep our hospitals safe!

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