Abuse of health and social care staff condemned

Staff providing vital support to vulnerable residents

Health and social care staff

A number of health and social care staff in North Lanarkshire have been verbally abused in the street in recent days while delivering care to some of the area's most vulnerable residents.

Such behaviour is in the minority, however Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire (HSCNL) has called for people to show respect towards staff and reiterated that incidents of aggression against health and social care workers are taken very seriously.

Councillor Paul Kelly, depute chair, HSCNL said: "Since this pandemic emerged our staff have been nothing short of exceptional. They have risen to every challenge they've faced. I've never been prouder of the commitment, compassion, flexibility and care they have shown and their drive to continue to deliver services really is exceptional.

"We are all directly affected by this pandemic, either through our own, or loved ones, personal health.

"In most cases, patients, their relatives and the public will be appreciative towards those who provide health and social care services, but a small minority of people have been abusive towards staff. It's vital that people respect the incredible work health and social care staff are doing just now under exceptionally trying circumstances.

"We have never in our generation faced, and hopefully will never face again, a pandemic like the one we are currently experiencing.

"Our staff should never face any abuse of any kind. They deserve our thanks and their dedication and empathy should be recognised by everyone."

Ross McGuffie, chief officer, HSCNL, said: "We have a range of measures to protect our staff, however in recent days we have unfortunately seen incidents where our staff have been verbally abused in the community.

"Make no mistake; our staff are providing vital support to some of our must vulnerable residents.

"We're committed to deterring such incidents and ensuring staff are trained to deal with situations when they do arise. Everyone has a duty to protect our staff while they deliver our services 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Our staff should be able to fulfil their duties without fear of assault or abuse.

"We take any acts of physical or verbal abuse very seriously. Where staff are abused while working, whether in the community or in our hospitals, we absolutely encourage them to report any abuse in line with our policies."

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