OPINION: minimum emergency services should expect is to be safe at work

I was shocked and saddened to read that more than a quarter of 999 staff working in the East Midlands were abused or suffered physical violence at the hands of patients.

stock hospital A+E, main corridor
stock hospital A+E, main corridor

The findings of the study, part of the National Health Service (NHS) staff survey, showed 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 jumped to 40 per cent when taking into account harassment, bullying or other abuse 999 staff have suffered from patients and the public in the last 12 months.

This is completely unacceptable. Our NHS staff do an amazing job under very difficult circumstances - the least they can expect is to do that job without being bullied, threatened or attacked.

It is right and proper that there is a zero tolerance approach towards anyone threatening or attacking staff - I can only hope the people responsible, read these reports, or indeed this letter, and are ashamed of their actions.

Margot Parker

MEP for the East Midlands

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