Teesside health chief in plea to keep emergency staff safe

A Teesside health boss has today issued a plea to the general public to help keep a safe and respectful work space for staff working within the emergency services.

Julie Gillon, Chief Executive for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust issued the statement after the death of PC Andrew Harper, 28 in Berkshire last week.

Gillon, a former nurse herself said ‘last week brought home to all who work in the emergency services once more what staff on the front line face day-to-day. In the midst of trying to keep a safe, flourishing, healthy and functioning society – our workforce faces unprecedented pressures’.

In October 2018 secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock announced the UK’s first ever NHS violence reduction strategy. The zero tolerance approach aimed to protect the NHS workforce against deliberate violence from patients, their families and the public – aimed at ensuring that offenders would be punished quickly and effectively.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust pledged their commitment to ‘keeping people safe’ last year with the introduction of their hard hitting campaign featuring the children of staff within the Trust (pictured) appealing to visitors to ‘keep my relative safe’.

Image of poster displaying young child and his plea to keep health worker parent safe

The Trust pledged to keep the messages alive, and earlier this year released some startling statistics surrounding episodes of violence within the Trust including:

  • In 2017 there were 275 reported incidents of violence within, that figure rose to 296 in 2018
  • In 2017 15.2% of staff within the Trust experienced physical violence from patients in 2017
  • Violence against staff reached its highest level in five years, with one in seven health professionals attacked in the workplace last year

Gillon continues ‘our Trust works daily in collaboration with the ambulance, fire, police and coast guard services. We work as part of wider community with the aim creating a brighter future for Teesside and the surrounding areas. This partnership means we are intrinsically linked to one another – the safety and well-being of all staff who work within these organisations is of the utmost importance for all of us.

Our workforce needs to be able to ‘get on with their jobs’ – keeping people safe and healthy without unnecessary hindrance. All that any of us ask for is that we can deliver our services safely and with respect.

Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of PC Harper at this time’.


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