Hospitals crack down on violent patients

By John HowardHEALTH bosses have warned they are operating a zero tolerance policy on patients who are abusive or violent towards their staff staff.West Suffolk Hospitals Trust said violence and threatening behaviour towards its staff would not be tolerated and would be reported to the police.

By John Howard

HEALTH bosses have warned they are operating a zero tolerance policy on patients who are abusive or violent towards their staff staff.

West Suffolk Hospitals Trust said violence and threatening behaviour towards its staff would not be tolerated and would be reported to the police.

Jenny Saunders, its occupational health manager, added: “We wish to make sure that everyone is aware of the fact that we report all incidents of aggression to the police and fully support staff and the police to successfully prosecute offenders.


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“Fortunately, over Christmas and New Year it is usually only a small number of people who cause a problem for staff.”

Panic alarms are located in sensitive areas of its hospitals, including the accident and emergency department, central delivery suite and the x-ray department.

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The alarms are linked through to the police station, via the switchboard, and summon an immediate response.

Signs around the hospitals also inform patients and visitors that a closed circuit television system (CCTV) is in operation and police regularly patrol the buildings.

Ipswich Hospital Trust said anyone who was violent, abusive or threatening towards its staff would be reported to the police and fast-tracked through the courts.

A spokeswoman for the trust added: “Fortunately, there is only a very small handful of the hundreds of thousands of people who pass through hospital each year who are in any way difficult towards staff.

“But one incident is one too many. We have a full range of security measures, including a security presence 24 hours a day, CCTV cameras and a police presence.

“Everyone working at the NHS and in hospitals does it because they care about people and we ask people to respect one another.”

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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