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Background Info

Hardly a day goes by without some reference in the media of someone who is employed within the NHS in Scotland being attacked, in most occasions both physically and verbally whilst trying to offer assistance to patients attending a hospital or a clinic in the NHS within Scotland.

While certain employees – registered doctors, registered nurses and registered midwives – have legal protection under the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005, there is a gap in the legislation which means that other employees within the NHS in Scotland do not have the same degree of protection. Often, this will be the front line staff who might be the first point of contact: admin staff, who book in and register a patient; porters or cleaners who may be called upon to help the patient; nurses, including auxiliaries or trainees who are there to support, clean up and offer comfort to the patient and anyone accompanying them.

Scottish labour estimate that between March and December 2015 there were 13957 assaults on NHS staff in Scotland. They further estimate that there were 287,630 staff days lost due to stress after suffering assault in 2014 – 2015, an increase of 50000 on 2012 - 2013.