Mental health patient bashes Baillie workers

STAFF members at a Toowoomba mental health facility have been hospitalised after a patient attack in a medium security unit.

The incident in the Ridley Unit of Baillie Henderson Hospital occurred nearly two years to the day after a violent attack by seven male patients on three nurses in the same section of the hospital.

Police said two 61-year-old men and a 52-year-old man all received injuries to the head after allegedly being attacked by a 27-year-old man about 9.40am Sunday.

"It seems they were all punched in the head," police said.

Police said they were taken to Toowoomba Hospital for treatment of minor cuts and bruising.

A Darling Downs Health and Hospital Service spokesman yesterday said police were called in line with Queensland Health's zero tolerance approach to violence.

However, the spokesman would not say why nearly three hours passed after the incident before police were notified.

He said the patient had been detained at the hospital under the forensic provisions of the Mental Health Act.

"Fellow staff rapidly provided assistance," the spokesman said.

"The situation was immediately brought under control."

He said the men were assessed at Toowoomba Hospital and after a short period of observation were discharged on Sunday.

"Senior members of the mental health service attended the unit to support staff."

The attack on January 19, 2013, left one nurse with a fractured eye socket.

It sparked an independent review of the circumstances which led to the incident.

Recommendations from that review included the continuation of 24-hour security at Ridley Unit.

The action plan also suggested an audit of the factors contributing to the length of patients' stay within the unit.

Police yesterday said no charges had been laid in relation to Sunday's attack.


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