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As a paramedic in England, I’m shocked at assaults on ambulance staff during Covid

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We have been coughed on and shouted at by people refusing to wear face masks. We need more protection, says NHS paramedic Jake Jones.

The outpouring of appreciation for NHS staff during the COVID-19 crisis has been extraordinary. Yet reports of a recent rise in attacks on emergency workers, including ambulance crews, in England and Wales suggests the Thursday evening applause was hiding a less positive reality. Abuse of emergency workers is a growing issue: a 2018 survey found that 72% of ambulance staff have been attacked on duty, and figures have repeatedly pointed to an upward trend. As an NHS paramedic for 10 years, this aligns with Jake's own experience.

The consultation on increasing sentences for assaults on emergency workers seeks to discourage attacks on them. Jake's hope is that it will also challenge what has become an ingrained view – that being abused and assaulted somehow goes with the territory.

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Source: The Guardian, 1 September 2020

Read Jake's book 'Can you hear me? An NHS paramedics encounters with life and death'

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