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Steve Barclay accused of breaking pledge over NHS staff abuse data

NHS staff have accused Steve Barclay of breaking a pledge to publish details of how many of them are abused and assaulted in the course of their work.

In 2018, when Barclay was a junior minister in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), he promised he would resume publication of those statistics in the following year.

However, five years later, Barclay has not fulfilled his pledge, despite being in his second stint as health secretary.

Health unions and NHS leaders have warned that frontline staff have been on the receiving end of increased abuse, threats, aggression and assaults since the first outbreak of Covid. Long waiting times for care appear to be a particular source of frustration for some patients or their relatives.

Growing numbers of ambulance crew personnel have begun using body-worn cameras in recent years to deter assaults and record any that do occur. In 2022, the London ambulance service recorded 877 reports of verbal abuse or threats of violence, 516 physical assaults – including kicking, punching, head-butting and use of a weapon – and 49 sexual assaults on staff.
Source: The Guardian, 16 March 2023


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