Hereford & Worcester

Attacks on Worcestershire hospital staff rise 'by a third'

Attacks on hospital staff in Worcestershire have risen by more than a third, the county's NHS trust said.

There were 129 reported assaults at Alexandra, Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal hospitals, between April 2010 and March 2011.

This compares to 90 reports, of both physical or non physical attacks, the previous year, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said.

The trust said staff were being trained to cope with such situations.

"We're training them as much as we can to give them the skills to be able to diffuse and de-escalate the situation if it happens," said Paul Graham, the trust's local security management specialist said.

The trust has released the figures to give a picture of the circumstances that clinical staff can face when trying to provide care and treatment.

Two of the incidents later resulted in police action.

Mr Graham said: "Sometimes you have to tolerate a scratch and a slap in order to treat [patients] in an effective way.

"That's not to say it's acceptable, our job is to determine what isn't acceptable and what is and apply the appropriate sanctions to those individuals."

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