Lone hospital security guard to battle violent addicts
A LONE hospital security guard is all that stands between drug-fuelled patients and the frightened staff who try to help them.
Health Services Union spokesman Jonathon Milman said more security guards needed to be on duty at Tweed Hospital because patients in drug-induced rages were putting staff at risk.
He said there was only one security guard rostered on at the hospital at any given time - and that hospital staff were frightened to deal with patients affected by the drug ice.
"Our concern is not having enough security guards to keep those people safe," he said.
Mr Milman said ice-affected patients posed a threat to themselves, staff and other patients.
The same concerns were voiced by Tweed Hospital security guard Murray Carlson when he spoke at the National Ice Taskforce forum in Lismore on Tuesday.
He said it was becoming more common to see patients in an "ice rage" presented to the hospital.
"We have had many staff assaulted in the course of their duty," he said.
He said ice-fuelled assaults were an issue throughout the hospital.
Tweed/Byron LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said police were called to assist at the hospital "from time to time".
Tweed/Byron Health Group executive director Bernadette Loughnane said Tweed and Murwillumbah hospitals had "sound security measures", with secure rooms for aggressive patients and extensive staff training.