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Hospitals call on police for help

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By Zachary Hannay
Hospitals call on police for help

POLICE were called to deal with 270 incidents in Dumfries and Galloway’s hospitals and health centres in the last five years.

The cases, predominantly involving violence and aggression towards staff and patients, have been recorded since 2018 and obtained through Freedom of Information requests by policing and justice magazine 1919.

In Scotland, 9520 calls have been made in the time period with nearly half of the instances occurring within the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

The nationwide figure is believed to be even higher with NHS Lothian and NHS Lanarkshire both unable to provide information.

Most calls came from hospitals. However, some were recorded from health centres and pharmacies, and there were even a handful of cases where NHS staff attending patients’ homes were forced to call for police support.

Norman Provan, associate director for the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland, said: “The increasing demands and staff shortages are piling the pressure onto nursing teams who are doing their best in very challenging circumstances.

“They should not have to put up with verbal or physical assaults.

“All health boards have a duty of care to protect their staff from attack and we encourage members who experience any type of aggression or violence to report it.”

1919 Magazine is a free digital magazine covering justice and social affairs issues in Scotland.

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