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Ambulance attacks not always recorded

Posted in: Criminal Injury and Assault Workplace Injuries 

Union officials have stressed that many ambulance attacks are going unrecorded as staff are unable to use the computer recording system. The South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said that 104 members of staff were attacked on duty between February 2013 and January 2014. 

Unison, however, claims that this figure is inaccurate as only around a quarter of attacks are actually recorded. An NHS staff survey proved this to be true as over 400 members of staff said they had been attacked during the same period of time.

One Unison spokesman, Ian Whittern, said that there had been “a big drop in reporting” when the system changed from a paper to a computer-operated system. The transition occurred in 2006, which Mr Whittern believed made it “more difficult for employees to log the incidents”.

475 assaults as opposed to 104

The survey carried out by the NHS questioned 1,485 employees from SWASFT, with 32% saying that they had experienced physical violence at work. This suggests that the official figure of 104 assaults should actually be 475.

A spokeswoman for SWASFT said that staff not reporting assaults was a major problem but that the computerized system is necessary to quickly alert staff to problems, which the paper system was not able to do.

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