Welsh Ambulance Service renew pledge to protect staff against violence

The Welsh Ambulance Service has renewed its pledge to protect staff against violence and aggression from patients.

The Trust has joined forces with local health boards, police and the Crown Prosecution Service to launch a fresh crackdown on verbal and physical abuse of all NHS staff in Wales.

This comes following more than 260 incidents of violence and aggression against ambulance staff recorded in the last 12 months.

Bosses have warned that there is a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to offenders, and that they will pursue offenders in court.

Judith Hardisty, director of workforce and organisational development in the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: ‘Our staff should be able to work without fear of violence, abuse or harassment from any member of the public.

‘Violence not only puts our crews and call takers at risk, but prevents them from doing their job—caring for others.

‘We condemn acts of violence and aggression against our staff and other NHS employees while they are on duty.’

She added, ‘We welcome the new agreement between the police and the NHS in Wales to prosecute perpetrators of violent acts against NHS staff.’

The ambulance service and its partners have now signed a memorandum of understanding outlining and improving the way incidents are reported to the police, evidence and statements gathered, and victims are supported during court cases.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 23 October 2013.

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