Violent patients will be arrested

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

HOSPITAL and police chiefs say an ongoing zero tolerance campaign against people who abuse hospital staff is probing to be an effective deterrent.

Bosses at Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) say they no longer accept incidents of violent or aggressive behaviour to be seen as a normal part of the job. They say staff have a right to expect a safe and secure workplace.

Violent and aggressive incidents are the third biggest cause of injuries reported in the health and social care sector.

A recent case heard at Wigan Magistrates court resulted in June Anita Saunders, 39, of Newton, Wigan, being found guilty of anti-social behaviour towards WWL staff.

Saunders received a Community Order with 18 months supervision and instructed to undergo alcohol treatment. And in May Alice Sargeant, 47, of Ascroft Avenue, Beech Hill, was found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence towards an A&E doctor.

Sargeant was ordered to pay a fine of £92, costs of £85 and compensation to the doctor of £50.

Superintendent Jacqui Pendlebury of GMP’s Wigan Division said: “We are working closely with Wigan Council and the NHS to tackle all forms of abuse, be it physical or verbal.

“We would always urge staff to report any incidents, as we will investigate all cases thoroughly and take firm action if appropriate.”

Hospital chiefs say police assistance will always be requested by WWL when violent incidents occur and that all possible attempts to pursue prosecutions will be made by the trust.