Hospital bosses have asked patients not to be violent towards doctors and nurses after it emerged more than 450 staff have been assaulted since 2009.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that 455 members of staff from St Helier and Epsom Hospitals have been assaulted since 2009.

Of that number, 254 were assaulted at St Helier hospital while 201 were assaulted at Epsom hospital. 45 members of staff needed hospital treatment following an assault the majority of the attacks were against clinical staff.

Chrisha Alagaratnam, chief executive of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Our medical, administrative and support staff all work incredibly hard to give our community the best care that they possibly can. 

"Any physical or verbal assault on NHS staff is entirely unacceptable and should not happen under any circumstances.

"Our members of staff come into work to care for vulnerable, sick and injured people, and although it is relatively uncommon, we will not tolerate intimidation, threats, or physical violence.

"Our staff have the full support of the Trust and we will always do all we can to ensure they feel safe at work.  This includes making sure staff are trained to deal with difficult situations and by working with the police to ensure offenders are prosecuted."

The number of assaults on hospital staff peaked in 2011 when there were 116 incidents across the trust. Since then the number fell to 87 in 2012 and 68 in 2013.