The number of assaults on National Health Service staff from 2009–2016 is shown in the following table. Data since 2016 has not been collected centrally following the dissolution of NHS Protect in 2017.
The following tables cover assaults caused by medical and non-medical factors, with the majority of recorded assaults involving medical factors1.
Number of assaults (includes both medical and non-medical factors)
1Assaults involving medical factors is the number of assaults that were attributed to the medical illness, mental ill health, severe learning disability of the assailant, or treatment administered to the assailant.
The number of assaults on NHS staff in Suffolk2 for 2009–16 is set out in the following table.
Number of assaults (includes both medical and non-medical factors) in Suffolk
2During this period the following Trusts operated either wholly or partly in Suffolk: Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Employers across the NHS are responsible for protecting their staff. The Government is committed to helping trusts discharge their obligations to keep their staff safe through its manifesto commitment that it “will take vigorous and immediate action against those who abuse or attack the people who work for and make our NHS” and strengthening legislation.
The Department is working with NHS Improvement and NHS England on plans for new central support arrangements to help trusts tackle assaults and abuse of their staff including a new data collection.
The Department also announced that paramedics will be given body cameras to protect them from abuse. This scheme will be piloted in North East and South East Coast Ambulance Services before being rolled out.
The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill 2017-19 will become law imminently meaning tougher sentences can be handed down against those who attack and abuse public services staff including NHS staff in the course of their duties.