Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ambulance staff attacked hundreds of times over 22 months

© Andrew CawleyAmbulances at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow
Ambulances at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow

There have been more than 500 verbal or physical assaults on Scottish Ambulance Service staff in the past 22 months, new data shows.

Between January 2020 and October 2021, staff endured 289 physical assaults and 216 verbal attacks from members of the public.

In one incident since then, on November 20 2021, the service received a hoax call for a cardiac arrest and when an ambulance crew was dispatched to the scene, their vehicle was hit with a number of objects.

The Scottish Ambulance Service condemned the assaults, saying they can have a lasting effect on staff.

Its chief executive Pauline Howie said: “Assaults and anti-social behaviour are completely unacceptable, and our staff should not have to fear for their safety when treating patients, or to be verbally assaulted over the phone when handling calls.

“They work incredibly hard, helping people in need and keeping them safe, and sadly we’ve seen incidents occur in other parts of the NHS and against our police and fire colleagues too.

“We also provide support to staff to report incidents to Police Scotland so that they can take the matter further.”

The ambulance service said it has a range of measures in place to help protect staff, such as training in managing aggression and assessing risk.

Areas where staff have previously faced violence or threatening behaviour are taken into consideration and communicated to crews going to the scene.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has recently launched a campaign to tackle attacks against front-line staff.

Its Health Worker Respect Campaign has been produced to help reduce levels of violent and abusive behaviour being experienced by health and social care workers following increased demands on NHS services as a result of the Covid pandemic.

It also aims to raise awareness of the challenges staff are facing and the consequences inappropriate behaviour can have on staff members.