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Last Updated: Friday, 19 December, 2003, 15:12 GMT
'Gonnae no' plea over NHS attacks
Nurses
The campaign aims to protect NHS staff
A catchphrase from the hit BBC comedy show Chewin the Fat has been adopted in the drive to stop attacks on NHS staff.

Posters featuring the words "gonnae no dae that" will appear in hospitals and health centres across the country as part of a campaign.

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said it would help get the message across.

"There is no excuse for making any NHS worker - be it a GP, dentist, nurse or receptionist - a target for any kind of aggression or violence," he said.

"It is intolerable to direct such behaviour against the very people who are trying to care for others.

"Staff in hospitals and surgeries should not be subjected to attacks, be they physical or verbal, as they go about their work and these materials will also give them useful guidance on managing such incidents."

All healthcare and other public service staff need to feel that their safety is taken seriously and this requires practical action
James Kennedy
Royal College of Nursing
The minister launched the campaign, which was piloted in Fife and Tayside, in Kirkcaldy on Friday.

An information pack will be distributed featuring a CD-Rom with advice for staff.

The Scottish Executive has also issued guidelines, with patients being warned that their treatment could be withheld if they attack staff.

Lord Advocate Colin Boyd has announced that attacks on NHS staff will be treated more seriously by the courts.

Unions have given their support to the new campaign.

Reducing violence

Jim Devine, of the public sector union Unison, said: "It is not part of a healthcare worker's job to be physically or verbally abused while at work."

James Kennedy, director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Scotland, said it welcomed all initiatives aimed at reducing violence towards staff.

But he added: "All healthcare and other public service staff need to feel that their safety is taken seriously and this requires practical action.

The BMA supports the use of sanctions against violent patients with prosecution for more serious offenders
Dr Bill O'Neill
"Investing in making workplaces safer and more secure, clamping down on those who display violent or threatening behaviour and backing staff who want to report violent incidents are areas where politicians and NHS managers can make further improvements."

Dr Bill O'Neill, Scottish secretary of the British Medical Association (BMA), said: "Campaigns such as this send a clear message to the public.

"However, they must run in tandem with prevention strategies such as management of aggression training.

"The BMA supports the use of sanctions against violent patients with prosecution for more serious offenders."

The Scottish Executive has also launched a consultation process on new laws which would bring in tougher sentences for attacks on emergency workers, such as paramedics and coastguards.

Unions have called for these proposals to be extended to cover nursing staff.


SEE ALSO:
New laws 'should protect nurses'
08 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Pledge over 999 attacks
07 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Nurse attack sparks safety demand
21 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Call to protect NHS staff
16 Oct 03  |  Scotland


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