Staff safety issues in London Ambulance Service

MORE than three members of London Ambulance Service staff were abused or assaulted every day last year while attending emergency calls, newly published figures have revealed.

Director of Operations Jason Killens said:

“There can never be any excuse to attack or abuse our staff, whose only role in responding to emergency calls is to help people.
 
“The vast majority of patients are very appreciative of our work, but sadly some do resort to threats and violence and there were 582 reported assaults and 749 cases of abuse in 2013 alone.
 
“As well as the financial costs, there are wider issues around the personal impact it can have on the staff involved.

“We welcome London Assembly Member Roger Evans’s support for our staff and the work they do in caring for and protecting Londoners.
 
“We are always looking at ways to balance giving our patients the best care we can, while protecting our staff at the same time.
 
“We have considered using cameras in the past, and discussed this at length with our staff and their union representatives. We concluded that the relationship between our clinicians and their patients is based on trust, and a strong respect for patient confidentiality.
 
“For us as an ambulance service in London and the particular challenges that brings, we believed that cameras on our crews or ambulances would undermine that trust. However, we will continue to review how we protect our staff going forward.”

-Ends-

Notes to editors: