YEP Says, February 10: Shameful attacks on hospital staff must be stamped out

10th September 2013. St James's Hospital Accident and Emergency.
10th September 2013. St James's Hospital Accident and Emergency.
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Four assaults every week in city hospitals.

MILITARY personnel and police officers aside, no one should go into work fearing that they might come under attack just for doing their job.

But shockingly that’s the grim reality for hospital staff in Leeds. The latest figures for those who have fallen victim to such assaults make for depressing reading.

Instances of attacks on the city’s hospital workers have risen by nearly a quarter in the space of a year. There were 195 such incidents in 2012/13.

Many of these involved patients who were violent for medical reasons. Hospital bosses also insist the increase can be partly attributed to better systems for reporting violence.

Nevertheless, at a rate of nearly four a week it is concerning that staff are subject to such risk.

Many of those who work in our hospitals do so under considerable pressure. They often also have to contend with people who are under the influence of drink or in highly emotional states.

They are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances and certainly don’t deserve to worry that they will come to physical harm.

One attack of this kind is too many, let alone 195. Hospitals must ensure that sufficient safeguards are in place to minimise the risks to staff, while those who commit such assaults should be made to feel the full force of the law.

Debt we owe to fallen must be remembered

LEEDS played an important role in the First World War – its men filling regiments such as the ill-fated Leeds Pals and its women contributing on the home front through work such as that done by the Barnbow Lasses in the munitions factory at Cross Gates.

As we mark the centenary of the outbreak of the war, the YEP is running a week-long series looking at a conflict that changed the world forever.

Through personal diaries and letters we will tell the story of the war through the eyes of those who experienced it. The last survivors of the Great War may no longer be with us, but our appreciation of the sacrifices they made must not die with them.

Bernard Kenny, the man who risked his own life to try and save MP Jo Cox, has died.

YEP Says: Bernard Kenny, a real national hero