The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has relaunched its Don’t Choose to Abuse campaign, highlighting the abuse ambulance staff receive – and the consequences for perpetrators.
During 2017-18 there were more than 1,000 incidents reported by ambulance staff, including 252 incidents of physical abuse and intimidation and eight incidents where weapons were used.
The campaign has been re-launched across the county with a poster campaign going out in the new year to pubs, licensed premises and other public places, reminding people that assaulting ambulance crew members can result in a prison sentence of up to 12 months.
Dorothy Hosein, chief executive of EEAST, said: “No-one should have to face abuse as part of their job, but when ambulance crews and call-handlers, who are there to help, are abused it’s totally unacceptable.
“Some members of our staff have reported they receive some form of abuse almost daily. This can have a cumulative effect on people’s wellbeing, and part of our campaign is telling staff that if they receive abuse from the public, they will be supported. Don’t choose to abuse – the consequences can be serious.”