The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, told a gathering of ambulance service top brass that he wanted to see the authorities take the toughest possible action against members of the public who subject frontline ambulance crews and control room staff to violent acts or abuse while on duty.
Speaking this afternoon (21 March) at the annual Ambulance Leadership Forum in Warwick, Mr 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% of ambulance staff who say they have been harassed or bullied by members of the public.”