Violence from patients at the Border's two biggest health organisations increased during 2018-19, but the hospitals could also celebrate a strong financial year.
Albury-Wodonga Health's annual report has revealed a net operating surplus of $503,000, down from $1.1 million in 2018.
A report from board chair Nicki Melville and interim chief executive Janet Chapman stated the organisation spent $2.8 million to refurbish the hospitals' mental health inpatient units and $3 million on the Albury Brain and Mind Centre.
It comes after AWH undertook a comprehensive review of its mental health services.
"This review identified the opportunity to develop a single model of care across our whole catchment, enabling anyone requiring access to the service will have the same opportunity to access care regardless of where they live," the report stated.
"This work is continuing into 2019-20 and has been a major focus for the board and executive team."
IN OTHER NEWS:
AWH recorded 231 incidents of occupational violence incidents, including 12 per cent that resulted in injury or illness to staff.
That was a 26.9 per cent increase on 182 violent incidents reported in 2017-18.
Northeast Health Wangaratta also recorded a 59.5 per cent increase in violence.
Its annual report revealed there were 185 incidents, including 16 per cent that caused injury or illness.
But in the case of violence at Wangaratta hospital, there were two main perpetrators.
"There were 51 incidents that related to two very complex patients who were with Northeast Health Wangaratta for several months," the report stated.
The financial year was the third year in a row NHW ran at a deficit, with the hospital $1.293 million in the red in 2018-19, but that was an improvement on the previous year, which had a deficit of $2.537 million.
Chief executive Margaret Bennett and board chair Jonathan Green said described it as "a highly successful year".
They said the organisation's focus had been on service improvements to make the hospital safer and more reliable.
This included spending $2.365 million to install CCTV cameras, a new nurse call system, replace washers and sterilisers, and upgrade the fire sprinkler system.
"We are delighted that a particular highlight of the 2018-19 year was the pre-election announcement by the premier ... of $10 million funding to enable the maternity unit to be redeveloped," the report stated.
"The year saw increases in the number of patients treated at NHW and also in the range and nature of services being provided."
NHW had 26,615 patients through its emergency department during 2018-19, an increase of 4.2 per cent; admitted 20,692 patients, up 8.1 per cent; and 670 babies were delivered at the hospital, which was three more than the previous year.
AWH also had a busy year with 1638 babies born and 39,255 inpatients treated across both Albury and Wodonga.
There were 64,273 patients through emergency departments, which was 4499 more than the previous year, at an average of 176 people each day - 19.2 per cent required further admission to hospital.
Beechworth Health recorded its third surplus in a row, up from $28,000 to $71,000 in 2018-19, and Alpine Health had an operating deficit of $94,000, compared to $972,000 surplus the year before - due to increase in labour and maintenance costs, a reduction in private inpatient fees, and a requirement for extra training of overseas nurses.