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.
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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)

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