The state's health minister has condemned the attack on a nurse.
The state's health minister has condemned the attack on a nurse. Bev Lacey

Nurse in serious condition as hospital assault condemned

A SICKENING attack on a Toowoomba Hospital Acute Mental Health Unit nurse has been condemned by the State Government and triggered an increase in security at the facility.

The 45-year-old nurse suffered serious injuries when he was allegedly attacked by a patient in the unit about 4.40pm Friday.

The incident involved a male patient, 32, who was at the unit for treatment and was under the care of Corrective Services at the time.

Further details of the incident have not been released as the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and Toowoomba detectives investigate the sickening assault.

The patient was on Saturday afternoon transferred back to Brisbane and was being held in a secure ward.

It is understood he will undergo further mental health assessment.

Record day in Emergency: Toowoomba Hospital emergency department had the largest number of patients ever.

The Chronicle understands no weapons were used in the alleged attack inside the secure unit of the hospital.

The nurse received care at Toowoomba Hospital over the weekend and was in a serious but stable condition.

Health service chief executive Dr Peter Gillies said the nurse was "seriously injured" in the incident, with hospital staff and the worker's family offered support.

"Our priority is to now ensure our staff member is getting the very best care they need and supporting their family," Dr Gillies said.

"We are also assisting our AMHU and wider Toowoomba Hospital staff to access support.

"Extra clinical and security staff have been deployed at the unit."

Health Minister Steven Miles said the State Government had a zero tolerance policy of violence or abuse against front-line staff.

Mr Miles said extra clinical support staff had been deployed at the unit.

"Violence against our front-line health workers is unacceptable," Mr Miles said.

Mr Miles said the State Government had invested in a range of measures across hospital and health services in Queensland to ensure staff were safe at work.

"No doctor, nurse or health worker should ever be the victim of violence in the workplace," he said.

"Our hospitals have a zero-tolerance policy towards violence and there is no excuse for abuse.

"We have also established the Queensland Occupational Violence Strategy Unit to help hospitals implement a wide variety of initiatives developed to address workplace violence.

"We take all incidents of workplace violence very seriously, and the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service is providing support for all staff at the AMHU and wider Toowoomba Hospital.

"Extra clinical and support staff have been deployed at the unit, and the HHS and Queensland Police Service are conducting a full investigation into the incident."