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Simon Stevens has said that authorities should take the toughest possible action those who subject ambulance staff to violent acts or abuse while on duty.
Speaking at the annual Ambulance Leadership Forum, the NHS England chief executive said that frontline ambulance crews and control room staff, who have reported being on the end of violent and abusive behaviour, deserve to see public offenders punished.
Stevens said: “We need to be frank with the public – it is completely unacceptable that a third of staff say they have been on the receiving end of violence from patients, relatives or the public over the course of the last 12 months. Many ambulance services have a policy of prosecutions when this arises and I want to make sure that this is being brought to the attention of the prosecuting authorities to the maximum degree and NHS England, working together with the ambulance services over the next 12 months, want to monitor the extent to which when these situations arise and ensure the police and the authorities do indeed do what needs to happen.
“We cannot have a situation where a third of our staff, ambulance staff for goodness sake, are on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour. Let alone the 47 per cent of ambulance staff who say they have been harassed or bullied by members of the public.”
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