More than 3,600 NHS staff assaulted

MORE than 3,600 NHS staff were physically attacked or abused in the eastern region in just one year - sparking calls for harsher punishments for those responsible.

MORE than 3,600 NHS staff were physically attacked or abused in the eastern region in just one year - sparking calls for harsher punishments for those responsible.

New figures reveal 2,508 staff were physically assaulted in the former Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority area in 2005/2006. This compares with a 2,343 the previous year - a jump of seven per cent.

And experts fear the numbers may be far higher because many staff don't report incidents.

Yvonne Cleary, secretary of the Suffolk branch of Unison, said: “We want tougher penalties for perpetrators. As well as criminal action being taken they should look at threatening to withdraw services from the patients concerned.”


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Neil McKay, chief executive of East of England Strategic Health Authority, said tougher penalties were currently being drawn up.

He said: “Any violence or abuse against NHS staff is a disgrace. We entirely agree that these figures are completely unacceptable, as is any single attack against any member of NHS staff.

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