Hospital crackdown on violent patients

IPSWICH Hospital today pledged to maintain its zero-tolerance policy towards criminals who attack staff.

IPSWICH Hospital today pledged to maintain its zero-tolerance policy towards criminals who attack staff.

During 2007/2008, five hospital workers reported being attacked to police, and as a result five people were successfully prosecuted.

One criminal who turned violent towards a nurse was banned from the hospital for two years, except in emergencies, after being given a criminal anti-social behaviour order (CRASBO).

The thug was also handed an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to pay £200 in compensation and £150 in court costs.

The attacker later broke the terms of the sentence and was sent to jail for 12 weeks.

Jennifer Canham, acting director of human resources at the hospital, said such success through the judicial system showed the hospital was committed to protecting all its employees.

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“This gives a very clear message that the hospital does not condone violence, harassment, bullying or abuse in any form and has adopted a proactive stance in addressing and reducing it,” she said.

“We are here to care for people in our community and it is so inappropriate for them to act in this way to our staff.

“Staff won't always report violence because they feel people who come to hospital are in a stressful situation, but we try to encourage people to report.”

Other patients who turned violent included one who lashed out at two security officers and was given a supervision order and ordered to pay £300 and £150 respectively.

The three other criminals prosecuted all attacked security officers. They were given a-three month community order and £30 in costs, a six-week sentence in a young offenders' institute, and a six-month prison term, suspended for a year and told to pay £250 in compensation.

Should punishment for criminals who attack hospital staff be more severe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.