NHS Staff (Attacks)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11 November 1997.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson The Secretary of State for Health 12:00, 11 November 1997

As my hon. Friend knows, I think it is disgraceful that our society has descended so low that people who work in accident and emergency departments or who go out with ambulances or are district nurses or GPs cannot perform their duties without fear of assault and abuse. Since coming to my present office, I have made it a major priority that national service managers must do whatever they can to reduce the impact of violent assaults on national health service staff. We issued a circular on the effective management of security in accident and emergency departments—which was prepared in part by the previous Government—and, since then, we have issued further health and safety guidance on minimising the risk of violence to staff. I return to my initial point: it is, and must remain, a major target of national health service management to ensure that staff are not assaulted and abused. It is the duty of the whole criminal justice system to make sure that anyone who assaults a national health service staff member is punished severely.