Concerns over rise in aggressive behaviour against healthcare staff
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Abuse and aggressive behaviour against healthcare staff in North Somerset has increased during the pandemic.
Health leaders have launched a new STOP campaign to clamp down on abusive behaviour which is having a huge impact on NHS and social care staff already facing huge pressures.
The campaign urges people using local health and care services to treat staff with kindness and respect as the pandemic continues.
Incidents at minor injury units in Clevedon, Yate and the urgent treatment centre in South Bristol are having a big impact on staff welfare.
Janet Rowse, chief executive for Sirona care & health which runs the units, said: “We fully understand the anxieties, stress and worry that have been caused by the ongoing pandemic and appreciate the toll that this can take on the wellbeing of all of us.
“My request of you is to be kind to our staff who are all working really hard in challenging circumstances to keep everyone safe.”
Speaking about the campaign, Dr Jon Hayes, local GP and chair of Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire CCG, added: “Any verbal or physical abuse towards staff will not be tolerated and appropriate action will be taken if it does occur.
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“Our staff are doing a fantastic job caring for local people during very difficult times and continue to give their all to make sure that people receive high-quality health and care services.
“Everyone should be entitled to work in an environment where they feel safe and free from aggression or abuse.
“The majority of people treated by our staff are grateful for the first class care they receive and we’re grateful to them for continuing to give staff the respect and kindness they deserve.
“However, we are hearing anecdotally of an increase in aggression and abuse towards our health and care staff in a range of settings.
“This is completely unacceptable and the campaign message is very clear that it won’t be tolerated under any circumstances.
“We do know that coronavirus-related precautions mean that waits for appointments and treatments may take longer, but please remember that social distancing arrangements are there to keep patients and staff safe.
"Please continue to be patient and treat staff with respect.”
A video to help people prepare for a visit to health settings can be viewed here.