Over 8 reported attacks on ambulance workers every day in the UK
Figures supplied by the GMB Union shine a light on the growing violence aimed towards ambulance staff in the UK.
The report found that between 2013 and 2017 there was a 34% increase in physical assaults recorded by Ambulance Trusts; with a mammoth 14,441 incidents of physical assaults on UK ambulance workers being reported since 2012/13.
Worryingly, there were over 8 reported attacks on ambulance workers every day in the UK in 2016/17. The GMB survey also found 72% of ambulance workers have been attacked while on duty, with an astonishing 94% of respondents being aware of attacks on their colleagues.
Unfortunately, it’s not just ambulance staff who are victims of physical assaults. Research has shown that incidents of serious violent assaults on health workers increased by 20% between 2012 and 2017.
The GMB report also highlights that incidents of physical assault have a further detrimental effect on staff following an incident. According to the survey 37% of ambulance staff have considered leaving their jobs due to the threat of a violent attack, with 21% of ambulance workers taking sick leave resulting from violent incidences.
As well as this, throughout 2016/17 ambulance staff in the UK took a combined 81,669 days of sick leave due to stress, anxiety, depression and related conditions. Combine those figures with the ongoing cuts to the healthcare sector and this large number of absences adds extra strain to the already stretched healthcare sector and can lead to healthcare workers are forced to work alone.
It’s imperative that staff who work alone have the appropriate equipment to raise an alarm in the event of injury or aggression. By implementing discreet technology that allows for audio evidence capture, it makes it easier for lone workers to report back to their employer and have behaviour documented and challenged appropriately.
Overall, these findings highlight extremely concerning areas that require serious attention in order to reduce the risk of violence towards ambulance and healthcare staff.
View the GMB report in full here.
- Source GMB Report
Article Published 3.5.2018