Ninety-five ambulance staff assaulted in the east of England

NINETY-FIVE assaults on East of England Ambulance Service staff were reported in 2008-09, according to figures published yesterday by the NHS Security Management Service. Some 24 of those assaults occurred in Essex. Interim associate director of A&E servi

NINETY-FIVE assaults on East of England Ambulance Service staff were reported in 2008-09, according to figures published yesterday by the NHS Security Management Service.

Some 24 of those assaults occurred in Essex.

Interim associate director of A&E services for EEAS, Neil Storey, said: "The ability of our staff to work safely and unhindered is paramount, and we consider any violence against them to be completely unacceptable.

"We encourage staff to report every instance of aggression they encounter in the line of duty so that appropriate action can be taken against anyone who has attacked them.


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"We also train our staff to undertake a risk assessment of every situation they attend.'

EEAS works with the NHS Counter Fraud Security Management Service to monitor instances of violence and follow them up with a view to preventing similar situations from happening in the future.

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The figure for last year (2007-08) was 84, so this year's figure of 95 represents an increase.

Mr Storey added: "It is disappointing that the number of assaults on our staff in 2008-09 has increased from the previous year, but this may reflect better awareness among staff of the importance of reporting incidents. We sincerely hope that the numbers of assaults will drop in the future.

"The vast majority of people are supportive of the ambulance service, but unfortunately there are still those few people who obstruct our staff as they try to go about their work helping people around the region.

"We would ask those individuals to think through the potentially tragic consequences of their actions before they assault an ambulance crew."

Number of assaults in 2008-09 by county:

Bedfordshire: 6

Cambridgeshire: 15

Essex: 24

Hertfordshire: 24

Norfolk: 13

Suffolk: 13

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