Trust could refuse to send ambulances to abusive patients
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk and Waveney's ambulance trust is preparing to roll out body-worn cameras to combat assaults on staff - and refuse to attend abusive patients.
Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer at the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST), told councillors on Norfolk County Council's health overview and scrutiny committee that assaults on staff remained a significant issue.
He said: "I was on call two weeks ago where we had six occasions in 24 hours where our staff were either verbally, physically or allegedly sexually assaulted across the East of England.
"It's very real, it is very present and it has absolute devastating effects on our staff."
Mr Bailey said the trust wanted to trial body-worn cameras in Waveney next week, which would be introduced across the trust in October if successful.
EEAST also wants to roll out a "don't choose to abuse" campaign while abusive callers will not have ambulances dispatched.
"What people don't necessarily see is the verbal abuse our call handlers get, it's a very hidden environment," he said.
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"We have introduced our version of a red card system.
"It's a brave thing because it will involve saying 'we're ending the phone call and we're not coming'.'"