The Workers Union is calling for an end to physical attacks on NHS staff.
The announcement comes after multiple news reports revealed the extent of the abuse.
In a terse statement, a spokesman for the organisation said: ‘Over the last eighteen months we have seen attacks on NHS staff rise and rise. In case anybody needs reminding, these are the same people who have repeatedly put themselves on the front line of the COVID crisis so that the sick and vulnerable get the care they so desperately need. It’s a matter of deep national shame that they should be attacked for doing such selfless, vital work.’
In this month alone, there have been numerous headlines about violence and aggression towards NHS staff. Newcastle hospital reported more than 900 acts of physical or verbal assault between June 2020 and July of this year – a quantum leap of 17 percent on pre-COVID levels.
However, the chief executive of Newcastle Hospitals Trust, said that recent times have seen a ‘new uptick in violence and aggression’. Elsewhere the picture looks equally disturbing, with reports of 2479 assaults on staff in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, and South London GPs labouring under the threat of increasing levels of confrontation with their patients.
The Workers Union on Ending Attacks on NHS Staff
It seems unfathomable that The Workers Union, which counts many of our brave NHS workers amongst its number, should have to go on record as condemning this contemptible behaviour. But that is the reality of our COVID-hit times.
Patients unable to access services are on a short fuse. As tax payers perhaps they believe that their National Insurance contributions can underwrite miracles. Yet a glance at the real world reveals the pressure our NHS is under. The latest figures say that there are 5.6 million people waiting for hospital treatment. And this is with billions of pounds of additional investment that the government has ring-fenced to clear the backlog.
The message is simple enough to understand: everyone is trying their best, doing their damnedest and working round the clock to care for you. Please do not give into frustration and start abusing NHS staff. Many of them have already reached the frayed ends of sanity as they battle to maintain the standards expected of them. Many of them are struggling to keep on top of the workload as spikes in COVID-related cases eat up bed space and cram emergency wards to capacity and beyond.
As a nation and a people we must remember this: our ability to empathise with the plight of our fellows is one of the markers of what we are moved to call the human condition. So let’s focus on this essential part of our humanity and get behind NHS workers now.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice fighting for you.