21/05/2018

Serious Concerns Raised Over Attacks On Ambulance Staff

Serious concerns have been raised over the number of attacks on ambulance staff.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it is "deeply concerned" after it was revealed there are over 400 assaults on staff every year.

On 19 and 20 May three instances occurred, two of which involved staff needing hospital treatment. In one incident a member of staff, who has given over 40 years service to the community, sustained injuries to his head, arms and body after he was attacked outside a hospital emergency department. An investigation has been launched.
News Image
NIAS Chief Executive, Michael Bloomfield, said: "I am deeply concerned about the frequency and level of ongoing abuse and assaults towards our highly committed and professional staff.

"A survey published last week by the Department of Health, in which almost 7,000 patients commented on their experience from arriving at hospital until they left, showed that 98% of patients said that ambulance staff behaved in a polite and courteous manner, and the same number (98%) said ambulance staff showed them care and compassion. The vast majority of patients value our staff for the excellent work they do, however regrettably a small number do not show them the same level of courtesy. This is unacceptable and NIAS believe that anyone found guilty of attacks on our staff should face the full rigour of the law.

"I wish our staff who were injured in these incidents a full and speedy recovery."

(CD/LM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 November 2018
Woman Left With 'Life-Changing Injuries' After Crash
Police are appealing for witnesses after a two vehicle crash in which a woman was left with potentially life-changing injuries. The collision happened on the Comber Road in Dundondald, near the Billy Neill Sports Grounds on Saturday 10 November and was reported to police at 1.10pm.
05 February 2002
Ambulance staff seek immediate action to stop attacks
Ambulance staff in Northern Ireland have said industrial action is a distinct possibility if attacks on drivers and crew persist. The threat of a strike comes following an attack on an ambulance driver who was taking a seriously ill pensioner to hospital via the Crumlin Road on Monday night.
08 January 2002
Ambulance workers defer strike action for two months
Northern Ireland ambulance workers have taken a vote to defer strike action for two months as a result of growing attacks on paramedics. Ambulance crew from all over the province met in Londonderry on Tuesday January 8 to discuss attacks on staff, the most of recent of which injured two ambulance crew at the weekend.
07 January 2002
Ambulance staff threaten strike action
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service staff are threatening to take strike action over a series of serious attacks on emergency personnel attending incidents in the province. The latest attack left a female paramedic with face injuries when a brick was thrown through the windscreen off an ambulance in north Belfast.
17 October 2011
Separate Arson Attacks Probed In Co Antrim
There was a petrol bomb attack in the Co Antrim port town of Larne at the weekend. The incident in Carson Street was reported to police shortly before 4am on Sunday and while no one was injured in the attack a car was damaged. The PSNI in Larne have appealed for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
18 March 2003
Paramedics boycott riot situations after assaults
The ambulance service in north Belfast have said that they will not be attending public disorder situations in certain areas after crews were assaulted on two occasions over the weekend.
06 February 2002
Ambulance staff representatives meet with SDLP
Representatives from the health union Unison and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service have met with the SDLP at Stormont to discuss recent attacks on paramedics.
01 April 2008
Ambulance Crew Involved In M1 Crash
An ambulance crew has been involved in a crash in Belfast as they were attempting to resuscitate a young baby on the M1 motorway. The crew had been flagged down on Kennedy Way to help an infant who had stopped breathing, when a lorry collided with the ambulance at 11am today. The lorry was approaching the Broadway roundabout.
30 January 2007
Uniformed officers to be based at A&E
An innovative pilot scheme, which will see two uniformed police officers being based at Belfast City Hospital during "hotspot" times to combat attacks on health staff, has today been launched.
15 March 2012
Man Dies Unnoticed At Belfast A&E
Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital has come under fire after an elderly patient died unnoticed on a trolley at its A&E. According to The Irish News the man was only discovered by ambulance staff who were to transfer him to another unit. It is not clear how long the man was dead before he was found.
13 March 2015
NIAS Declares 'Major Incident' Over Strike
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) has declared a 'major incident' after members of staff threatened strike action. Ambulance staff and public service workers are taking part in a 24 hour strike today, Friday 13th March, over budget cuts. All buses and trains have also been cancelled.
29 July 2014
Review Ordered Into Staff Shortages
A review of operations is to be carried out by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) following delays in response times to 999 calls. It is understood that almost a third of NIAS's ambulances were unavailable on Saturday past due to a staff shortage.
06 March 2008
Nurses Call For Tightened Security
Staff at a Coleraine hospital are demanding improved security measures following an attack on the premises. Two nurses in the Accident and Emergency department at the Causeway Hospital were violently assaulted by a pair of drunken women last week. The attackers punched the nurses in the face, before throwing a chair at members of staff.
24 August 2004
Couple escape injury in flat fire
A couple have escaped injury after their flat caught fire in north Belfast last night. The fire, which occurred at around 10pm at the flat in Fianna House in the New Lodge area of the city, was spotted by a woman from her home in Little George's Street, half a mile away.
11 August 2004
'Distressed' hip break pensioner receives surgery
An elderly woman who broke her hip and lay incapacitated on the floor of her home for three hours waiting for an ambulance has undergone surgery at the Ulster Hospital. Portaferry pensioner Susie Smyth, 80, fell at her residential home at 11.15am on Sunday but was not collected by an ambulance until 2pm despite the best efforts of her doctor.