NHS staff the victims of more than 61,000 attacks

Regional health boards disclosed 61,360 attacks on health workers. Picture: PA
Regional health boards disclosed 61,360 attacks on health workers. Picture: PA
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Statistics revealing there have been more than 61,000 attacks on NHS staff since April 2012 have been branded “incredibly concerning” by the Liberal Democrats.

Party health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton has called on the Scottish Government to do more to tackle the problem after obtaining the data under Freedom of Information.

Figures provided by regional health boards disclosed 61,360 attacks on health workers over the period, although the actual total is likely to be higher as a number of boards did not submit any data for the current year.

This includes Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board, which has the highest level of incidents in each of the four years leading up to 2016-17, including 6,581 attacks in 2014-15.

The figures also showed that while 61,360 attacks on health workers were recorded, police were involved in 2,238 of these incidents.

Cole-Hamilton said: “NHS staff work round the clock saving lives and providing quality care to those that need it. It is utterly unacceptable for anyone to be assaulted when they are at work.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Attacks or aggression against our NHS staff are unacceptable and the perpetrators must be dealt with in the strongest possible terms. No-one should be the victim of abuse or violence while at work. We continue to encourage all NHS organisations to support appropriate action against anyone who assaults our staff.”