Violence and abuse directed at NHS workers is nothing new. The most recent NHS staff survey revealed that 14.5% of staff had experienced physical violence from patients, their relatives or the public – that’s an average of 200 violent attacks a day.
Similarly, pharmacists – who have stepped into the face-to-face breach left by the partial closure of some GP surgeries – have experienced a rise in violence and abuse as they struggle to meet demand. Over the weekend on 28-29th March alone, 16% of pharmacists reported an increase in physical violence.
Despite the success of the ‘Clap for our Carers’ initiative that suggests widespread support and respect for UK health workers, there have been reports of racial abuse, staff being spat on and doctors being punched whilst treating COVID-19 patients.
Majority of these attacks are motivated by fear with NHS workers being heckled by stressed and aggravated members of the public. Although it’s understandable that people are scared, health workers have asked the UK public to work with them during this crisis as they do everything in their power to protect people.
Healthcare workers are facing an unprecedented demand for their services that is putting a strain on resources. Many hospitals and health centres are short-staffed as employees contract the virus themselves or need to self-isolate after becoming symptomatic.
Pharmacies are also experiencing a drop in capacity which has resulted in running out of certain stock and forcing people to wait longer than usual for their prescriptions to be processed and dispensed. One staff member spoke of:
“verbal abuse, emotional blackmail, failure to observe social distancing, queue-jumping [and] generally selfish behaviour”.
The special measures and privileges put in place by the government and supermarkets has resulted in NHS staff becoming victims of mugging. In response to this increased abuse and violence, NHS workers have been advised not to wear their uniform outside of work and to hide their ID badges.
How Can Guardian24 Help Health Workers During The COVID-19 Pandemic
The work of nurses and other healthcare professionals is seen as so essential that their material needs must be put on hold for the greater good of the nation. However, they are consistently met with violent and abusive behaviour.
We want to be your partner during this national crisis; protecting your staff as they work on the frontline with our personal safety service. We have remained fully operational throughout the outbreak of this pandemic and will continue to be so – you can rely on us to be there for your workers in the event of an emergency.
or more information about out service and how we can help you, get in touch with one of our expert consultants by completing our contact form below. They will guide you through the options we have available and which is the most suitable for your needs.