Opinion: NHS assaults are a disgrace

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When you work in a service where the prime responsibilty is helping the general public then the last thing you’d expect is to be physically assaulted.

But that is the position many NHS staff in South Yorkshire find themselves in after figures were released today.

More than 3,100 attacks took place on paramedics, nurses, doctors and other workers last year – an increase on the 2,800 assaults carried out in 2012/13.

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It is almost beyond belief that someone’s reaction to a person who is assisting them is assault.

Trade union Unison points out that there are huge pressures on the NHS and people – who are already in a stressful situation through ill health or injury – may react in an aggressive manner if they feel they’re not being treated well enough.

It is a point of view, but one that cannot be condoned.

There is never an excuse for assault and there is definitely no place for it in our hospitals or doctors surgeries.

Prosecution figures for those carrying out the assaults is pitifully low.

If people feel they can get away with swinging their fists then they will.

More must be done to punish those who carry out these offences.