Citizen Reporter
Reporter
1 minute read
7 Dec 2021
5:36 pm

41 attack incidents on staff by mental health patients reported since January last year

Citizen Reporter

In one incident, a patient at a clinic in Sedibeng Health District pulled a light bulb from the ceiling and attacked staff.

Picture: iStock

The Gauteng department of health has reported 41 attack incidents on staff by mental healthcare patients between January 2020 and November 2021.

The attacks vary, but in the main revolve around nurses, doctors and security guards being either assaulted or bitten by mental healthcare patients, said the health department in a statement on Tuesday.

The 41 attack incidents happened in 10 healthcare facilities in the province: Far East Rand Hospital (12), Leratong hospital (7), Pretoria West Hospital (6), Tembisa Tertiary Hospital (5), Jubilee Hospital (4), Odi Hospital (3), Tara H Moross Psychiatric Hospital (2), Lenasia South District Hospital and Levai Mbatha Community Healthcare centre had one incident each.

In one incident, a patient at a clinic in Sedibeng Health District pulled a light bulb from the ceiling and attacked staff.

As part of efforts to reduce attacks on hospital staff by mental health care patients in public hospitals, the department has put in place various measures to curb the attacks, including continuous training to its staff on how to manage aggressive patients.

Others include sedating mental patients at casualty on arrival at a facility where necessary.

“In other instances mental healthcare patients are admitted to 72-hour observation units immediately. Doctors and nurses accompany each other when attending to mental healthcare patients,” said the department.

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“In addition, the department has placed security personnel at casualty department to assist with psychiatric patients.”

The department said it had reported all the cases as Injury on Duty and referred them to Employee Assistance Programme for further management.