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Health minister pledges to tackle assaults on Welsh NHS staff

5 October 2007

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The Welsh health minister has promised a “zero-tolerance” attitude on violence towards NHS staff in hospitals and GP surgeries.

Edwina Hart made the claim as she unveiled plans for trade unions and Assembly Government officials to draw up new guidance for NHS bosses on how to deal with attacks.

The group will examine how incidents are reported and how victims are supported, and report back with its findings in three months.

Mrs Hart told AMs there must be common standards across Wales to protect health workers, and said she is not prepared to take a “softly softly” approach.

She added: “It might come to the end degree to say, ‘I’m terribly sorry, you’re not that seriously injured, you’re not going to be treated here because our staff can’t put up with it’.”

Trusts must also encourage their staff to report all incidents of abuse, even if they feel it is not worth filling out a complaint form at the end of a shift, she said.

“We must be encouraging staff that their forms will be taken seriously, therefore it is worth completing a form,” Mrs Hart said.

Shadow health minister Jonathan Morgan welcomed the plans, but said NHS chiefs should already be cracking down on assaults.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Welsh Assembly

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