Code Grey protocol becomes a reality in hospitals in Kerala

The Code Grey protocol has been drawn up along the lines of the same implemented in all developed nations, while tweaking it to suit the State’s context, Health Minister Veena George said

March 16, 2024 09:15 pm | Updated March 18, 2024 06:11 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Code Grey protocol, drawn up by the Health Department to ensure the safety of health workers, patients and hospitals, was released by Health Minister Veena George in Thiruvananthpuram on March 16.

The Code Grey protocol has been drawn up along the lines of the same implemented in all developed nations, while tweaking it to suit the State’s context, she said.

The protocol was drawn up after holding workshops, with the participation of the officials of both the Police and the Health departments and legal experts and after collecting the opinions of medical experts in India and abroad. The final version was cleared after meetings at the highest level, a statement issued by the Health department said.

Special fund has been allocated for the implementation of Code Grey in hospitals. All Government hospitals should mandatorily implement Code Grey

Hospital overhead codes have been devised as part of hospitals’ emergency management and response to ensure that there is a uniform and pre-planned response to various emergencies, which can often save time as well as lives.

Code Grey is usually called to alert the hospital staff to a dangerous or combative person in the hospital or to criminal activity somewhere in the hospital.

A hospital may use Code Grey “if someone, including a patient, is being aggressive, abusive, violent, or displaying threatening behaviour”. This is an alert for security personnel in the hospital to act and assist the hospital staff and other patients to manage the situation or remove the aggressor from the premises. The action to be taken to ensure safety, reporting and follow-up activities have been detailed in the Code Grey drawn up by the Health department. It also touches upon the psychological support and legal protection that should be extended to hospital workers.

As part of preventing attacks or violence on hospitals and health workers, the Government had legislated a modified version of the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2012, with stringent provisions on the punishment that will be incurred in the event of any violence inside hospitals.

The Code Grey protocol prepared by the State will be applicable to all hospitals and will help all institutions resist violence inside hospitals. Health workers and security personnel will be given special training as part of implementing the protocol .

The safety audit in hospitals in the State has been completed and the steps to strengthen safety measures, as recommended in the report, will be expedited . The Health department also plans to hold mock drills to review the security arrangements. Committees are being set up from the hospital-level till the State-level to ensure hospital safety, as per Code Grey.

The implementation of this protocol will not just enhance the safety perception in hospitals, it will also help health workers to work in peace and increase their sense of security, the Minister said.

The NHM State Mission Director, Jeevan Babu, Director of Health Services, KJ Reena, Director of Medical Education, Thomas Mathew, State Health Agency Executive Director, Ratan Kelkar, among others, were present.

Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) has welcomed the Code Grey protocol released by the Health department.

In a statement here, KGMOA said that the implementation of the said protocol will boost the morale of health workers and help them engage in work with more confidence and a sense of security. It appreciated the lead role taken by the Health Minister in formulating the protocol.

KGMOA said that it was thankful that the organisation’s suggestions with regard to the safety of workplaces was included in the new Code Grey protocol . It also appreciated the provisions in the new protocol which ensure psychological support and legal support to healthcare workers

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