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Police guard for NHS staff?

17th April 2008

NHS bosses have called for police to be deployed in Accident and Emergency units and ambulances on Friday and Saturday nights in a bid to combat problems created by binge drinkers.


While several schemes are already in place which see police officers going out with paramedics and operating at A&E units, doctors and managers want to see more officers in such locations because they say that abuse of staff by drunk patients has become so bad that workers needed police back-up.

Figures show that 40% of all admissions to A&E departments on a Friday and Saturday are drink-related with that figure soaring to 70% after midnight.

Currently, police go out with ambulance crews in parts of Yorkshire such as Leeds, Hull and York, and officers have dedicated A&E patrols in parts of Merseyside and in Bolton.

Don MacKechnie, vice president of the College of Emergency Medicine, said: “This is a great idea. There are real problems on these nights, drunk patients put a real pressure on services. Staff are abused, people are getting into fights and rowdy groups disrupt the care of other patients.

“These people just do not respect the NHS and by having a visible police presence there it can act as a deterrent.?

The NHS Confederation said ambulances and A&E are flashpoints on Friday and Saturday nights and a police presence would be a way to tackle the problem.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw said it was important for NHS staff to be able to treat patients in a “safe and secure environment.?


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Article Information

Title: Police guard for NHS staff?
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 6398
Date Added: 17th Apr 2008


BBC News

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