Violence and racism make match day at King’s Mill Emergency Department ‘a frightening place to work’
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2021 10:07 AM
NHS staff at King’s Mill Hospital are dreading the Emergency Department shift on Wednesday, because of violence and abuse, according to Sherwood Hospital NHS Trust’s Chief Nurse, Julie Hogg.
On Saturday and Sunday after England beat Ukraine 4-0, the emergency department was incredibly busy, with around 900 people coming in for treatment over the weekend. But it wasn’t the volume of patients that was the issue, it was their behaviour that caused the problem.
Julie explains: “On Saturday night our ED was an appalling and sometimes frightening place to work. Most patients were polite and were just seeking help and treatment, but a significant minority of people abused our colleagues; we experienced people who were violent, rude, said inappropriate sexual comments and, in some cases, were racist.
“This is absolutely unacceptable and we are not willing to tolerate this behaviour in our organisation. Our colleagues deserve to be safe at work. Many of them would have loved to have been watching the match but instead they were working hard, looking after their patients.
“We have a duty to operate a zero-tolerance approach, so we won’t hesitate to call the police if people behave badly. We will also consider refusing future treatment in line with our policy.
“Our teams are hard-working and committed; we will be there to help those who need us on Wednesday, but sadly many staff are now dreading their shift. We have put extra security on to keep them safe, but this is a real shame as its money we could be spending on patient care, but NHS staff must be safe from harm.
“We want everyone to go out and have fun on Wednesday, but we ask you to do so safely. Think about how much you are drinking, make plans to get home safely and, if you do find you need the NHS, remember that we are here to help you and please do as we ask and treat us respectfully.
“People should also be aware that even as restrictions are lifting in society over the next few weeks, hospitals still have to follow infection control protocols. Patients can’t bring friends with them into ED, we will also ask them to wear a mask and to observe social distancing. This isn’t to be difficult, it is to keep them, our colleagues and vulnerable patients safe.”