HOSPITAL chiefs say they are in discussions with police to introduce patrols to A&E again this Christmas in a bid to halt the number of assaults on hospital staff.
Following news that assaults on medics are at record high levels, bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) are preparing to take further measure to protect staff.
Figures released by the NHS show that assaults have steadily increased over the past five years from as few as 57 in 2010/11 to 141 last year.
In May this year, WWL chiefs vowed to get tough on violent patients by announcing a zero tolerance approach.
David Cornish, assistant manager for security at WWL, said: “Our staff are our most valuable asset. Any abuse – both physical and verbal - towards our staff is totally unacceptable.
“We do not condone any levels of violence or aggression in A&E towards our staff or other patients. Staff are encouraged to report all incidents to our security team.
“It is hoped that doctors, nurses and all staff will feel significantly reassured that our on-going work to provide a safe, effective and caring environment has resulted in closer working relationship with GMP and sanctions being opposed on offenders.”
And last Christmas officers for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrolled the A&E department to help tackle the threat of violence during one of the busiest periods of the year.”
Alcohol has been singled out as a key cause behind the rise in assaults on staff members. WWL medic, Dr Mueed Ahmad, told an inquest into the death of 91-year-old Tommy Kevan who died of heart failure last year last year how there was delay in treatment when he was referred back to A&E by his GP because of problems with anti social behaviour by drunks.
He told the coroner: “Alcohol related problems caused problems for patients and staff who should be treated with dignity and respect.”