Portsmouth medical staff face attacks more than once a day

STAFF at the city’s hospitals are facing verbal and physical abuse more than once a day according to new figures.

By Millie Salkeld
Monday, 2nd September 2019, 3:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 9:33 am
(l-r) Queen Alexandra staff Sue Morris, David Connor and Jen Joiner
(l-r) Queen Alexandra staff Sue Morris, David Connor and Jen Joiner

In April this year Queen Alexandra Hospital launched a Respect and Protect campaign which has a zero tolerance on abuse towards staff and has seen patients warned consequences could include being removed from hospital and having to travel miles away for treatment.

Employees can now report incidents which is then reviewed by the security management team and further action can be taken.

In the period between April 1 and August 30, 90 physical assaults were reported, verbal abuse to staff totalled 68 reports and there were 58 incidents that combined physical assault and verbal abuse.

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Dr David Connor is among staff at the Cosham hospital that have reported abuse after he was punched in the face while treating drunk patient,  Daniel Keevill, in the emergency department.

Speaking to The News earlier this year he said: ‘I didn’t turn up to work expecting to have any form of abuse let alone physical abuse.

‘I was truly shocked and taken off guard, and I had to stand back and compose myself.’

Keevill, of Celandine Avenue, Locks Heath, was prosecuted under the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 and admitted assault.

Senior sister Sue Morris, who works in Neuro Rehabilitation at Queen Alexandra Hospital treating patients with brain injuries, was left with cuts above her eye and lip as well as a lot of bruising when a patient became violent and physically attacked her during treatment.

She said: ‘‘I was really shocked at the time as I totally didn’t expect it. It was really scary.

‘It’s really disrespectful to lash out at people who are only trying to help, and I think it’s totally unacceptable.'

Emergency department registrar Jennifer Joiner faced verbal abuse earlier this year from a young male patient, who was then sent a warning letter about his behaviour. 

Jennifer added: ‘We took steps to make sure we were safe, but everyone felt extremely distressed and upset by this experience.’