'Please stop attacking our staff'':Epsom and St Helier hospitals chief's plea as 450 doctors and nurses are attacked in five years

'Please stop attacking our staff'': Hospital chief's plea as 450 doctors and nurses are attacked in five years

'Please stop attacking our staff'': Hospital chief's plea as 450 doctors and nurses are attacked in five years

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

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. 

Comments (6)

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4:30pm Fri 18 Jul 14

adrianshort says...

Assaults and verbal abuse of hospital staff are never acceptable, but I wonder what more the hospitals could do to make visits less stressful, defuse conflicts before they escalate and protect staff at risk. How do they approach it at present?
Assaults and verbal abuse of hospital staff are never acceptable, but I wonder what more the hospitals could do to make visits less stressful, defuse conflicts before they escalate and protect staff at risk. How do they approach it at present? adrianshort
  • Score: 9

4:44pm Fri 18 Jul 14

andrewjames1982 says...

Considering some of the irritating situations I have dealt with in hospitals it's not a surprise. Just had someone rant at me in the hospital pharmacy for not bringing in proof for free meds, despite comming from casulty! Yes coz that's the first thing i think off when I'm rolling around in pain!
Considering some of the irritating situations I have dealt with in hospitals it's not a surprise. Just had someone rant at me in the hospital pharmacy for not bringing in proof for free meds, despite comming from casulty! Yes coz that's the first thing i think off when I'm rolling around in pain! andrewjames1982
  • Score: 4

10:32am Sun 20 Jul 14

Irenic says...

Work in a similar public service. Unfortunately It has become more common in the last 15 to 20 years to be confronted by people who have little patience or respect for the staff providing services like this . When they come across any issue requiring patience, or do not get the answer or outcome they want to hear, they throw their toys out the pram. Thankfully this is still the minority and most people are are really nice to help out. In addition to this, A and E staff have the binge drinkers and alcoholics to deal with. The strains on public services do add to the problem but that's another subject for another day!
Work in a similar public service. Unfortunately It has become more common in the last 15 to 20 years to be confronted by people who have little patience or respect for the staff providing services like this . When they come across any issue requiring patience, or do not get the answer or outcome they want to hear, they throw their toys out the pram. Thankfully this is still the minority and most people are are really nice to help out. In addition to this, A and E staff have the binge drinkers and alcoholics to deal with. The strains on public services do add to the problem but that's another subject for another day! Irenic
  • Score: 6

11:47am Sun 20 Jul 14

Yaffle1 says...

It is beyond me why anyone who is violent or abusive is not refused treatment until they calm down and apologise.
It is beyond me why anyone who is violent or abusive is not refused treatment until they calm down and apologise. Yaffle1
  • Score: 8

10:34pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Georgia Lewis says...

There is no excuse for assaulting hospital staff, even if something has gone wrong. If assaults are on the rise, it might behoove hospital management to ask staff about morale, working hours, conditions and staffing levels.
There is no excuse for assaulting hospital staff, even if something has gone wrong. If assaults are on the rise, it might behoove hospital management to ask staff about morale, working hours, conditions and staffing levels. Georgia Lewis
  • Score: 9

2:58pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Pippa Maslin says...

I am deeply saddened to hear this. Every time I have had occasion to be in St Helier Hospital, I have found the staff nothing but fab.

Also, I agree with what Georgia Lewis says!
I am deeply saddened to hear this. Every time I have had occasion to be in St Helier Hospital, I have found the staff nothing but fab. Also, I agree with what Georgia Lewis says! Pippa Maslin
  • Score: 3

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