Rise in Attacks on NHS Workers

The latest reports confirm that there has been an alarming rise in attacks on NHS workers since last year.

The assaults against the NHS workers have considerably increased in seven out of 14 health boards and the biggest increase in assaults has been witnessed in Lothian. The figures in Lothian have sharply increased from 1,261 in 2008 to 1,877 in 2009.

In the wake of such incidents, Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Baker said, "I am shocked and disappointed at the rising toll of violence against NHS workers in many parts of Scotland. Those who work in the NHS should have an absolute right to feel safe from assault”.

He further emphasised on the need for greater legal protection for the NHS staff.

He also claimed that the SNP administration had been miserably unsuccessful in fulfilling the manifesto pledge of extending the Emergency Workers Act 2005 to cover all health service employees.

Under the Emergency Workers Act 2005, assaulting, blocking or hampering someone from providing an emergency service is a specific offence. It also carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail or a fine of £5,000.

Workers covered under the act are police, fire and ambulance crews, doctors, nurses and midwives.