Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 11:17 UK

Pubs ban threat for NHS violence

Ysbyty Gwynedd
Abusive patients will be banned from licensed premises

Violent drinkers who abuse or attack NHS and ambulance staff in north west Wales face bans from pubs and clubs.

North West Wales NHS Trust and ambulance officials have joined a pub watch scheme in Gwynedd and Anglesey.

One person has already been banned for two years from Bangor and Bethesda pubs for threatening and abusing NHS staff.

"Those who abuse medical staff will not be allowed back into the area again to drink and repeat that behaviour," said Sgt Bill Coppack of North Wales Police.

Martin Jones, chief executive at the North West Wales NHS Trust said it was essential there was respect between patients and staff.

Respect and dignity

"It is quite rightly expected that NHS staff should treat patients and relatives with respect, dignity and act in a professional manner," he said.

"The flip side of this relationship is that NHS staff should also be treated in a similar manner."

He said that whilst the "vast majority" of patients and relatives behaved appropriately there were "some individuals" who considered it acceptable to be verbally abusive or violent towards NHS staff.

"This is totally unacceptable," he said.

"This new relationship with the Pubwatch scheme will add to other sanctions and help drive home the message that unacceptable conduct will not be tolerated.

Pubwatch

"There will be wider consequences for individuals engaged in such behaviour," he added.

Sgt Bill Coppack of North Wales Police said it was a "fantastic opportunity" to work towards creating a "responsible environment for the sale and consumption of alcohol in this area".

He added: "We don't tolerate people who are abusive or violent in the area's pubs and I'm sure this will make people think twice before being abusive or violent towards healthcare staff."

The scheme will not be limited to the Bangor area, but will include every designated Pubwatch area in Gwynedd and Anglesey.

The idea being to ensure the punishment of the ban is imposed in the area from which the alcohol was bought.

Figures show there were more than 7,000 violent or aggressive incidents in the NHS in Wales in 2007-2008.

It comes as Health Minister Edwina Hart signed an agreement allowing new protocols for police to investigate incidents against health workers.



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14 Sep 09 |  Wales

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