Hospital ‘red card’ for rowdy patients

A MELBOURNE hospital with one of the nation's busiest emergency departments wants to introduce a yellow and red card system to deal with drunk, violent patients.

The proposal comes as the Victorian Government's election promise to have armed guards at hospital emergency departments was strongly opposed by medical groups at a parliamentary hearing on Monday.

Alfred Health general counsel Bill O'Shea said the card system, which operates at Luton and Dunstable Hospital in the UK, could be introduced at The Alfred in Melbourne.

It would only be used for patients in non-life-threatening situations and not be applied in response to any behaviour stemming from a physical or mental illness.

If someone waiting for treatment became violent, they would be warned, and if they continued to misbehave they could be red-carded and escorted out.

The offender could potentially be banned from the hospital, except in life-threatening