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Assaults on emergency workers bill

Posted by Amy J France (Admin) 2 months ago Posted in #TalkHealthAndCare

This blog is an update on the "Assault on emergency workers bill"

Matt Hancock on emergency workers

Last week the Ministry of Justice announced it will be doubling the maximum jail term for anyone convicted of assaulting an emergency worker

The move was welcomed by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, who recognised emergency workers have some of the most important and challenging jobs in our society.

More than 17,000 NHS staff were deliberately assaulted in 2015 to 2016. Since then, the annual NHS staff survey reported that 15.2% of the staff who responded say they have been physically assaulted or abused – this is a 5-year high. 

The Royal Assent Bill is a big step towards reducing violence against staff, and helping people feel safe to go to work.   

The Department of Health and Social Care’s Simon Goodwin has first-hand experience of the hostility staff can face on the frontline, through his role as an Emergency Responder for the London Ambulance Service.

Simon Goodwin

“Sadly, assaults on emergency staff will never be completely eradicated, and spending so much time interacting with patients and families puts those in the 999 family at far greater risk than most jobs,” said Simon.

“Having experienced violent and threatening behaviour first-hand, I believe those who make a reasoned decision to attack staff deserve to have the book thrown at them.

“It’s good to know myself and my blue light colleagues have a more protected status when it comes to the sentencing of assaults. I hope the publicity around this new Bill will make potential attackers think twice.”

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This post was edited on Sep 19, 2018 by Helen Wilkinson

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Comments (8)

Andrea Porritt says... 2 months ago

As well as emergency staff consider our district nurses, who are visiting patients 24/7, lone workers and whilst not carrying medication do carry lap tops, mobile phones and use their own cars.

Amy J France says... 2 months ago

Hi Andrea, can only imagine how difficult it must be for lone workers especially when travelling to different locations. Have you spoken with your team about ways to make sure everyone stays safe?

Andrea Porritt says... 2 months ago

we do have policies in place however we have had a recent incident where a nurse in her car had a knife to her throat and someone stole her car with her equipment in. the problem is the unpredictability of what we are walking into, we have the right policies and procedures but are at risk as a lone worker.

Amy J France says... 2 months ago

Is she okay? If there were things you could put in place - what would you like to be in place?

Andrea Porritt says... 2 months ago

she is ok thank you

it happened as she parked up her car, she was on the phone at the time.

perhaps an emergency alarm to the police  would be useful, her colleagues responded but they are not equipped to deal with an armed person.

Amy J France says... 2 months ago

I am glad to hear she is okay, but I know that the impact of this happening will be tough for her and those who were involved. Could you share your idea for an emergency alarm for lone workers on Challenge 2? https://dhscworkforce.crowdicity.com/category/29671 

Bev Edgar says... 2 months ago

There are so many risks for lone workers and teams need to keep safe, report fears and concerns and be given full support if incidents occur. The above example must have been terrifying and I hope your colleague is getting help. we need to drive more public awareness about unacceptable behaviour and more training to better understand Medical conditions that might trigger violence and the de-escalation techniques that could help. Staff themselves know what will make them safe - do not accept this is just the way people behave now please.raise it and make your Board aware of the risks.  It is the Board's role to keep you safe and secure. make sure they hear your stories !

Amy J France says... 2 months ago

You've highlighted so many key points Bev! Is there anything currently where local organisations/boards can share about risks?

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