Hundreds of Yorkshire ambulance workers ‘bitten, attacked and spat at’ on duty
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The GMB union said its investigation has revealed 1,272 incidents including crews being bitten, attacked and spat from the financial year 2018/19 to 2022/23.
Around 800 of the incidents were sexual assaults, said the union.
GMB national secretary Rachel Harrison said: “Ambulance workers across Yorkshire go to work every day to save lives.
“Despite this, thousands of them are bitten, attacked, spat at and even sexually assaulted.
"No one should have to put up with that, least of all those who are there to protect us.”
Data from the last five financial years revealed an average of 254 attacks on Yorkshire ambulance crew, with a peak of 271 recorded in the financial year 2021/22.
GMB’s ambulance members successfully changed the law in 2018 when the Assaults Against Emergency Workers (Offences) Act made assaults on ambulance workers an aggravating factor for sentencing.
Ambulance workers will take to the stage at GMB’s annual congress in Brighton today (June 4) to discuss the attacks they face daily, as well as the national NHS strikes they took part in and much needed reform to ambulance worker retirement age.
Ms Harrison added: “GMB members helped change the law but more needs to be done.
“We demand full enforcement of the Protect the Protectors legislation, investment in better systems to flag offenders, and much better support for the victims of violence.”