THE region’s ambulance service came under attack on two separate occasions while dedicated staff attempted to treat patients over the busy Bank Holiday weekend.
Hundreds of life-saving staff from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust responded to almost 11,000 emergency calls during the three-day period.
Sadly, amongst these calls was an incident in Loughton, Essex, Monday evening (7th May) when a member of Trust staff was assaulted by a patient whilst trying to provide treatment in Chester Road.
Luckily, the crew member did not require hospital treatment.
Another incident in Harlow on Friday (4th May) evening saw a patient become violent and smash the windscreen of an ambulance.
This resulted in the ambulance being taken off the road until it could be fixed the following day.
Robert Morton, Chief Executive at EEAST, said: “I am devastated to hear of our caring, dedicated and hard-working staff being attacked whilst they are trying to carry out their valuable work. It saddens me deeply and I wonder how anyone could do this to an NHS worker.
“It is important it is recognised in society as a despicable offence and last month I supported a bill in Parliament to Protect the Protectors and have lobbied Parliament to make an attack against an NHS worker a specific offence.
“We will be working with our police colleagues to ensure justice is done in every instance of our staff being mistreated by the public.”
The Trust launched the #DontChooseToAbuse campaign in December 2017 to encourage members of the public to make a choice and respect ambulance staff with respect.
Robert added: “While vehicles can be replaced, the cost of taking an ambulance off the road for a night can be huge and could have a detrimental impact on the emergency cover we can provide. Ultimately, it can cost lives and we take these offences extremely seriously.”
If you want to show your support for frontline workers, use the hashtag #DontChooseToAbuse on social media.
Popularity: 2% [?]