Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 12:53 UK

Nurse describes attack by patient

An abusive member of the public in a hospital
Attacks on NHS staff have increased

A nurse who was attacked while working at a Welsh hospital says security needs to be improved for NHS staff.

John, not his real name, was grabbed around the throat by a patient.

He managed to pull the man off but was left shaken by the experience.

"It was a bit of a shock at first. I reported it to my line manager straight away and then the police were called," said the nurse.

CCTV cameras will be installed in accident and emergency units at four Welsh hospitals and in some ambulances as part of a trial to tackle violence against staff.

John said he believed hospital security was "inadequate" and he supported the new scheme.

We do get training about violence and aggression - you go on courses for that
John

"If it's in emergency units, I definitely think it will be a good idea because everything can be documented and I would be all for it," he said.

"People are saying it would be a waste of time and there should be more security guards but if they haven't got the powers then that's useless so I would be more for CCTV."

John said his experience had not put him off working for the NHS but said staff should not have to put up with physical or verbal abuse.

"You just get on with it. I knew that was the type of environment I was working in but that's probably wrong because you should be safe in any job you're working in," he said.

"We do get training about violence and aggression - you go on courses for that."

John said he was not aware of any other incidents where colleagues had been physically attacked although staff did sometimes suffer low-level verbal abuse from patients.

"Patients don't really want to be there. Nobody likes being in hospitals," he said.

"Sometimes people do get emotional, relatives as well if they're not getting the answers they want."



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