Ipswich nurse in terror knife attack

A STUDENT nurse at Ipswich Hospital is today recovering after a terrifying incident in which a visitor turned on her with a knife.

Naomi Cassidy

A STUDENT nurse at Ipswich Hospital is today recovering after a terrifying incident in which a visitor turned on her with a knife.

A man was visiting a patient in a medical ward at the Heath Road hospital on Thursdaymorning when it is believed he suddenly flipped and brandished a blade at the female trainee nurse.

It is believed a cleaner and several others leapt to her aid and tackled the knifeman.


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The hospital security staff were on hand and managed to get the weapon off the man before holding him until police officers arrived.

The man was then arrested on suspicion of possessing a bladed article in public but was later released from custody with no further police action and was detained under the mental health act.

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No one was injured during the incident.

Jan Rowsell, an Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman, said this was the first incident of this scale in recent history.

However she said she was unable to say how many attacks there were on members of staff in the last year because she could not get a breakdown of the figures.

“A lot of them are not malicious,” she said. “They result from people who are confused because of illness or because of the drugs they are on. We obviously record every incident but at the moment the breakdown in not available.”

She added that the hospital spends around �300,000 a year on security measures.

Talking about the attack on Thursday she said: “I can confirm that there was an incident. Police were called. Everyone involved acted swiftly and with great compassion.

“We are part of a community here and the community is part of us. We have a very strong security team on site and they provide a great deal of reassurance.

“These incidents are extremely rare. The money we get from the car park is invested in security and improving the car park. We have a police station on site and we have 24-hour security as part of a contract with OCS [a security company]”.

A Suffolk police spokesman said officers were called to Ipswich Hospital at around 10.40am on Thursday, September 10, to reports of a male brandishing a knife.

“Upon police arrival the hospital security had already disarmed the male and he was consequently arrested on suspicion of possessing a bladed article in public,” he said.

“The male, aged 29 from Ipswich, was released from custody with no further police action but was detained under section two of the mental health act.”

Prue Rush, local health campaigner, said: “This seems to be a one-off incident that the security dealt with quickly and efficiently. I am sure the hospital will discuss what has happened to see what else can be done but you cannot provide for every eventuality.”

What do you think of the security at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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