Give nurses body cameras to prevent assaults

The Royal College of Nursing Congress has heard calls for nurses to be given body cameras to help prevent assaults, following increasing levels of violence in A&E and on wards.

A number of NHS trusts have recently introduced body cameras for security staff, with trials finding a reduction of up to 100 per cent in violent incidents and restraints being carried out on patients. Recent figures showed that there were 56,435 physical assaults on NHS staff in 2016/17, up 9.7 per cent from 51,447 the year before.

Sarah Seeley, a nurse from Ipswich who proposed the motion, said: “We need a robust deterrent. Nurses have been stabbed, stalked and even had their eyes gouged. Wearing body cameras might make people feel safer and de-escalate situations. Of course, there is a cost, but it is worth considering."

Despite a number of nurses publicly sharing their experience of assault, with some having been attacked and held hostage by aggressive and violent patients, the proposal has also been condemned, with some nurses saying cameras would erode patient trust and invade their privacy.

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