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Violence against ambulance staff in England at record high

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Violence against ambulance staff in England has reached a record high, as the NHS crisis in emergency care continues to deepen.

An estimated 12,626 incidents were reported in the 12 months to April 2022, according to nationwide data shared with The Independent – a 7% rise on the previous year.

However, since 2016, the number of paramedics who have been verbally or physically assaulted, or threatened with assault, has nearly doubled, rising from 7,689.

Adam Hopper, the national ambulance violence prevention and reduction lead for the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), which provided the data, said the findings “confirm the worrying trend of increasing violence against ambulance staff”.

One paramedic told The Independent a bone was broken in his neck after he was strangled by a drunken patient he was attempting to treat.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, a membership body for trusts in England, said that alcohol is the most prominent factor in such assaults, followed by drugs and people being in mental health crisis. “Race and sexuality have also increased as exacerbating factors in these assaults, as have delays to treatment and arrival times,” he added.

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Source: The Independent, 19 June 2022

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