Head of NHS England urges authorities to take toughest possible action against abuse

Head of NHS England urges authorities to take toughest possible action against abuse


Speaking at the annual Ambulance Leadership Forum this week in Warwick, head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, declared attacks against NHS staff were totally unacceptable and called for the toughest possible action in response to violent acts or abuse.

“We need to be frank with the public” Stevens said, “it is completely unacceptable that a third of staff say they have been on the receiving end of violence from patients, relatives or the public over the course of the last 12 months.

“Many ambulance services have a policy of prosecutions when this arises and I want to make sure that this is being brought to the attention of the prosecuting authorities to the maximum degree and NHS England, working together with the ambulance services over the next 12 months, want to monitor the extent to which when these situations arise and ensure the police and the authorities do indeed do what needs to happen.

“We cannot have a situation where a third of our staff, ambulance staff for goodness sake, are on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour. Let alone the 47% of ambulance staff who say they have been harassed or bullied by members of the public.”

Calla is currently being trialled in 3 NHS Trusts after showing that equipping staff who work in mental health with body cameras has a positive impact for patients and staff.

Andrew Morrison from the Central Medical Support Group explains "Body worn cameras offer a visual deterrent to people who may wish to complain about or seek conflict with ambulance/medical staff.”

“We found Calla at the Emergency Services Show at the NEC in Birmingham and were instantly impressed with its small size and subtle design.

“The discreetness of the camera was proven in the fact very few people noticed we were wearing cameras unless they were turned on with the display and recording light illuminated.

“The vast majority of people we see and help have no wish to threaten or harm us, but when faced with that situation the ability to calm someone because they can see they are being recorded is invaluable.”

Learn more about Calla here

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