More than a quarter of East Midlands Ambulance Service staff abused by patients

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Over one quarter of 999 staff working in the East Midlands were abused or suffered physical violence at the hands of patients, a new study has revealed.

Figures released as part of the National NHS Staff Survey have shown that 26 per cent of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) staff surveyed experienced physical violence at work from patients, relatives or members of the public.

This figure jumps significantly to 40% when taking into account harassment, bullying or other abuse 999 staff have suffered from patients and the public in the last 12 months.

A small number (2 per cent) said that they had been attacked over five times by patients in the last year, with 8% of respondents claiming that they had been bullied or abused by the public on more than 10 occasions.

Just 1 per cent said that they had experienced similar abuse or violence from their managers or colleagues.

Over 1,200 EMAS staff filled in the survey.

Despite the startling figures, EMAS performed better than the national average of one in three staff experiencing physical violence and 47 per cent suffering abuse or harassment from patients.

The trust has condemned any violence against its staff, adding it has a “zero tolerance approach” towards such attacks.

Richard Hunter, Ambulance Operations Manager at EMAS, said: “Our staff on our frontline and in our control rooms work tirelessly to help and treat people every day and deserve to be treated with respect.

“We have a zero tolerance approach towards anybody who verbally or physically assaults our staff and our security management specialists work hard with our colleagues in the police service to take action against anyone who verbally or physically assaults them.”

Stefan Pidluznyj , Local Democracy Reporting Service