A joint working agreement has been signed aimed at strengthening partnership arrangements in tackling violence and antisocial behaviour against NHS staff.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), Humberside Police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for Yorkshire and Humberside have all signed the joint working agreement together.
Jug Johal, NLaG director of estates and facilities, said: “The Trust takes the stance that violence against any member of staff is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“Our staff are here to provide health care services to our local communities and we will not tolerate violent or abusive acts towards them. The signing of this agreement shows the commitment of the parties to reduce the risks and the ongoing work together to achieve this.”
He added: “We acknowledge that some patients, due to the nature of their illness or injury can become disorientated, abusive and violent and we will take this into account.”
Matt Overton, NLaG’s emergency planning and security management specialist, said: “The agreement had previously been signed in 2015 but recent work with the Trust, UNISON and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside had been undertaken to update it.
He said: “The aim of the agreement is to ensure we are all adopting a consistent and integrated approach to reduce the risk of violence and anti-social behaviour against our staff. What people often forget is that criminal incidents can delay the provision of treatment, including life-saving treatment, and can also have a significant financial cost. It is therefore important all of the local agencies work together to reduce crime against the NHS.”
Superintendent David Hall, of Humberside Police, said: “Our focus is on keeping people safe and protecting vulnerable people. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to working closely with partners in local areas to do just that.”
Chris Hartley, deputy chief crown prosecutor said: “We acknowledge that NHS staff play an important public role and should feel safe at work. Violence and anti-social behaviour against NHS staff will, where appropriate, be prosecuted robustly and the nature of these crimes will be put forward as an aggravating feature at sentence.”
The nature of the health service, and the extensive range of locations where services are provided, mean that NHS staff and premises are vulnerable to violence and anti-social behaviour. These have implications not just for those directly involved, but for the public as a whole.
Julian Corlett, a UNISON representative at the Trust, has been involved in the development of the agreement. He said: “I am delighted to have been able to work with colleagues in the development of this document as it is a clear demonstration of how seriously the Trust tackles the issues of anti-social behaviour.”
During 2016/17, there were 708 reported incidents of anti-social behaviour across the organisation.