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Attacks on NHS workers.

Byline: IAN BUNTING

Staff at Monklands Hospital were assaulted more than 200 times last year in the line of duty.

That is the shocking reality laid bare by the results of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for 2018.

The figures show staff at the Airdrie hospital fell victim to 217 incidents of assault, telephone abuse, threatening and intimidating behaviour and verbal abuse while caring for patients.

Hospitals elsewhere within NHS Lanarkshire fared almost as bad or worse, with Hairmyres Hospital recording 202 incidents and Wishaw a whopping 517 incidents of assault.

Staff at Monklands were physically assaulted by patients on 108 occasions, compared to 106 at Hairmyres and 209 at Wishaw.

Although staff can make comments on forms when reporting an incident of assault, that does not always determine the background to the incident.

Philip Coghill, senior Royal College of Nursing officer for Lanarkshire, blasted the figures.

He said: "Nursing teams are already under pressure due to staff shortages and increasing demands.

"One assault on a nurse or any other health care worker is one assault too many. All health boards have a duty of care to protect their staff.

"They should also make clear to patients that they have a zero tolerance approach to any harassment or violence, and that all incidents will be reported to the police and conviction sought if appropriate.

"The RCN will continue to support NHS Lanarkshire's

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Publication:Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser (Lanarkshire, Scotland)
Date:May 8, 2019
Words:233
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