More than 80 attacks on NHS staff during pandemic

MORE than 80 members of NHS staff in Rotherham were physically attacked during the coronavirus pandemic, shocking new figures reveal.

According to data from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, 86 members of staff working at the Rotherham NHS Trust were physically attacked while or after doing their job during the Coronavirus pandemic, from April 1 to December 15.

A spokesperson for The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust condemned the attacks and said there had been no increase directly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The spokesperson added: “We do not tolerate physical or verbal abuse towards any member of our staff, our patients or visitors on any of our sites.

“Our colleagues are here to help those who need it and they should not feel threatened or unsafe while caring for others.

“We are victim-led when reporting incidents to the police. We have a number of measures in place to protect our staff and patients, including an on-site security team and CCTV.

“We also work closely with South Yorkshire Police who provide additional support during the busier times of the year. Our figures suggest there has been no increase directly attributable to Covid.”

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Rotherham MP Sarah Champion added: “It shocks me that our NHS staff have to endure physical attacks while carrying out their already stressful duties.

“Every worker should be able to do their job safely and expect to be treated with dignity. At a time when awareness of just how much NHS staff do to help us is at an all-time high, it disgusts me that some cowardly people still try to abuse them.”

Katherine Mitchell, GMB regional organiser said: “Both verbal and physical attacks on NHS staff have been rising in recent years and we’re urging all NHS Trusts and the police to use the full force of the law to prosecute all perpetrators.

“The new ‘protect our protectors’ legislation was passed in 2018 to ensure that emergency service workers are safe and it's important now that perpetrators feel the full force of the law.

“GMB will continue to work closely with our members and employers to reduce risks to staff carrying out vital work and to ensure that any victims have help and support available to them.”