CPS Joins Crackdown On NHS Staff Violence

Health minister Brian Gibbons today pledged to crack down on violence against NHS staff in Wales. Signing an agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service to make sure people who abuse health workers are prosecuted, he said that such violence was “completely unacceptable”.

The CPS has pledged to treat all cases seriously and work with police to pursue prosecutions.

Speaking at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, where he signed the agreement, Dr Gibbons said: “All health professionals are dedicated and committed to doing the best for their patients. The threat of violence not only carries obvious injury and distress to staff but it stops patients getting the vital treatment they need.

“It can also lead to increased sickness absence and poor morale. “Violence against our hard-working staff is completely unacceptable and we need to do all we can to make sure that the perpetrators are prosecuted.” He added that the agreement with the CPS will form the basis of an effective prosecution policy.

The agreement sets out the roles the NHS and CPS would be expected to play in pursuing prosecutions, and also makes sure information would be shared between the two bodies.

Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald QC said: “The CPS will work with the police to encourage priority action for violence and aggression on NHS staff, and will apply a robust charging policy.”

During 2005 to 2006, just under 7,800 violent or aggressive incidents against NHS staff in Wales were reported.