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Nurse abuse: hospital brings in private security to protect staff

James Paget University Hospital says abusive behaviour from public is rising

James Paget University Hospital says abusive behaviour from the public has risen in recent months

A hospital has invested in private security to protect emergency department staff from jeering and other abuse from patients.

James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk, said it has engaged a security company to work overnight in its emergency department, and at the hospital’s main entrance, in response to concerns about aggression aimed at staff.

Hospital takes to social media to urge respect for hospital workers

In August the hospital was forced to issue a plea on Facebook asking patients to treat staff with courtesy and respect after ‘increasing amounts of

James Paget University Hospital says abusive behaviour from the public has risen in recent months

James Paget University Hospital. Picture: Alamy

A hospital has invested in private security to protect emergency department staff from jeering and other abuse from patients.

James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk, said it has engaged a security company to work overnight in its emergency department, and at the hospital’s main entrance, in response to concerns about aggression aimed at staff.

Hospital takes to social media to urge respect for hospital workers

In August the hospital was forced to issue a plea on Facebook asking patients to treat staff with courtesy and respect after ‘increasing amounts of rude and abusive behaviour’.

Upsetting and intimidating incidents have included rude comments and sarcastic clapping and jeering.

‘The trust has engaged a security company to provide reassurance to our hard-working staff, following several incidents of abuse from members of the public over the last few weeks,’ said a spokesperson for James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Private security will relieve pressure on hospital porters

The trust’s board papers show there were 38 cases of staff abuse at the hospital in July, 31 in June and 45 in May.

The organisation had previously placed additional security in the emergency department in response to specific incidents, but this is the first time it has employed a security firm as a long-term measure.

The trust said the decision to bring in a private contractor would also free up in-house portering staff – who have been doubling up as security – to focus on their duties such as helping with patient transfers between departments.

COVID-19 pandemic has led to rise in abuse of nurses

The hospital’s move comes amid concerns about increased abuse and violence directed at nurses and other healthcare professionals across the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, nurses appeared in a video made by NHS Lanarkshire in Scotland, in which they recounted incidents of abuse by patients, including insults, swearing, racial abuse and threats of legal action.


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