Local police and health services are joining forces this festive season to help keep members of the public safe and protect those working on the NHS front-line from abuse.
South Yorkshire Police and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre at Rotherham Hospital, are increasing the number of security and police teams working at key dates over the holiday period to keep staff and members of the public safe.
As the number of people celebrating at parties and on nights out increases, so do the number of assaults on emergency workers. Thousands of NHS staff members are assaulted every year, and the levels of violence experienced in Rotherham have risen over recent months.
Paul Ferguson, Neighbourhoods Chief Inspector, said: “Throughout the year, our hospital and the police work closely together to reduce risks to the public and demands from in and around the hospital. At Christmas time, the need to do so is particularly acute when the weather worsens and alcohol intake goes up. Together, we look forward to a safe and enjoyable festive period.”
Louise Barnett, Chief Executive at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Nobody should have to face abuse of any kind when they are at work, especially when their job is to protect and care for people. Everyone should be able to enjoy themselves at this time of year, so we’re urging people to drink responsibly and only use emergency services when you have to.
“This Christmas and New Year, working closely with South Yorkshire Police, we are reaffirming our commitment to keeping our workforce, patients and visitors safe.”
This partnership working comes shortly after the introduction of the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act, which came into effect on 13 November 2018 and has doubled the maximum custodial sentence from six months to one year for anyone who assaults emergency workers.
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