SECAmb staff report more than 200 assaults in a year

MORE than 200 paramedics and ambulance staff were physically and verbally assaulted last year.

South East Coast Ambulance Service attended the scene
South East Coast Ambulance Service attended the scene

Figures released by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) in a Freedom of Information request reveal a total of 138 physical assaults took place on members of the crew.

Between April 2014 and March 2015, 110 staff members were assaulted, but did not have to have treatment.

Of them, 31 per cent of asssaults took place in an ambulance, 30 per cent in a private residence or property, 24 per cent in a public place, 10 per cent in a hospital and two per cent in unspecified locations.

There were also 28 workers who had to have treatment following physical assaults – the majory took place in private residences however two took place in a residential care home.

A spokesman for SECAmb said: “Our trust views assaults against staff very seriously.

“Our local security management specialist actively promotes awareness of our zero-tolerance stance with regard to assaults on staff and encourages staff to report incidents.

“The trust also ensures that our operational staff are provided with conflict resolution training to minimise the risk of assaults.”

There were 12 incidents of attempted assault recorded during the same period and a futher 199 incidents reported of aggressive or threatening behaviour.

Paramedics and ambulance staff were also subjected to verbal abuse on 98 occasions – with 60 workers being assaulted in a private residents, 13 in a public place and 11 in an ambulance.

Between 2012 and 2013 there were 113 reported assaults on SECAmb staff.

The trust also places history marks on individual addresses to protect staff from being subjected to violence.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We are mindful of our duty to our staff and do not want to expose them to any uneccessary hazards which includes incidents where they maybe subject to potential violence.

“In making this asessment howeever, we do not deem it appropriate to ‘flag’ entire areas, but instead will history mark individual address where and when it is appropriate.”

There are 31 red markers on propeties in the SECAmb area, which means they are addresses where staff have previously been threatened or physically assaulted.

Amber markers show staff there could be a potential risk to crews of abusive, aggressive or inappropriate behaviour from members of the public. Currently 50 properties are marked amber.

The trust added: “When the trust responds to a marked address, the emergency operations centre will alert the attending crew to the nature of the marker to ensure they are aware of the potential risk; in some cases this will include instructions to await the arrival of the police prior to approaching the property in question.”

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