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Ambulance workers assaulted daily in London

New figures released today show there are over 200 households in the capital where medics need police assistance to enter.

There are 390 patient addresses where staff have been physically or verbally abused on the location alert register. Of these 226 are classed as serious and need police assistance.

When medics respond to a 999 call at a flagged address, they carry out a risk assessment before deciding if it’s safe to enter. However, they only delay treatment if they believe they are in danger.

Ambulance Operations Manager Athar Khan said: “At least one member of staff is attacked every day in London and at least two are verbally abused.

“We have a duty to protect our staff and let them know if they’re about to be sent into a potentially violent situation. We have to balance the need to protect our staff and the need of the patient.”

Last year 451 medics reported a physical assault and 737 were verbally abused as they responded to emergency calls.

Paramedic Leo Nakhimoff, 29, was assaulted last year when he attended a drunk patient in north London. He said: “When you’re going about your daily job treating patients you don’t expect to get attacked with a fence post – it was completely unprovoked.

“It affected me quite badly at the time and I questioned whether I wanted to continue working as a paramedic. It’s now at the back of my mind when I get called to similar incidents.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to help people and we don’t want to be in fear of being attacked.”

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

  • Addresses are added to our list if there is evidence of a previous assault or threat of violence against our staff.
  • Only individual residential addressees are entered on the register (not blocks of flats, parks, pubs etc).
  • We share information on our register with the police to ensure we can provide an appropriate response to 999 calls.
  • Each entry on the register is categorised in one of four ways:

One – is the most serious type of incident where a member of staff has actually been the subject of physical violence.

Two – is where there has been a specific threat of use of a weapon, or where there has been verbal abuse with intimidation, or where there has been verbal abuse aggravated by being based on the grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation.

Three – is where a member of staff has been verbally abused.

Four – is where a medical condition (i.e epileptic fits, diabetes, mental health issues) was a major factor in the incident. For these incidents we will work with other health and social care providers to achieve appropriate care for the patient concerned.

For categories 1 and 2, staff will not enter the property until police are present.

Number of addresses on the locality alert register, listed by borough
Borough Total no of addresses

Barking and Dagenham

26

Barnet

17

Bexley

3

Brent

11

Bromley

9

Camden

6

Croydon

11

Ealing

21

Enfield

16

Greenwich

13

Hackney

19

Hammersmith and Fulham

5

Haringey

7

Harrow

8

Havering

20

Hillingdon

13

Hounslow

14

Islington

14

Kensington and Chelsea

9

Kingston

6

Lambeth

12

Lewisham

11

Merton

6

Newham

12

Redbridge

17

Richmond

4

Southwark

18

Sutton

10

Tower Hamlets

14

Waltham Forest

24

Wandsworth

9

Westminster

5

Total

390