Hospital room trashed and security guard suffers broken nose: Northumbria NHS trust sees 36% rise in abuse against staff

In 2020 there has been a 36% increase in the total number of incidents against staff reported with instances of verbal abuse more than doubling from the same period last year. More than a third of the total number of incidents were at the trust’s Northumbria hospital at Cramlington with almost half of these in the emergency department. Recent incidents at the hospital have seen nurses left extremely distressed when a patient trashed their room and a security officer have his nose broken when restraining an aggressive patient.

Damage at the Northumbria hospital. Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive medical director, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic we saw an outpouring of overwhelming support for our NHS from the public and therefore it’s so very sad to see that the number of attacks on our staff has increased this year. “To hear that colleagues are having to deal with this and have been left frightened by the actions of our patients is difficult to handle and totally unacceptable in today’s NHS.

Damage to an inpatient room at the Northumbria hospital. “Whilst the vast majority of patients are respectful to our staff, growing numbers of them are not and we want to remind the public that their actions are putting enormous strain on our staff. “Simply put our staff are there to do a job – please allow them to focus all of their efforts on providing the highest quality of care to our patients without having to deal with any kind of abuse.”

As part of the reminder, the trust is backing calls for tougher action against those who attack emergency workers. The ‘it’s not okay’ campaign features real members of Northumbria staff urging people to ‘please treat us with respect’ highlighting that they ‘work hard every day to help care for you and other patients’.

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