Even as NHS workers risked their lives to help the country at its time of need during the coronavirus pandemic, they were still being attacked when attending emergency call-outs.
This emanated the need for PARAMEDICS in England to be fitted with body cameras in a bid to prevent thousands of attacks on frontline staff each year, officials have announced.
This is also in a bid to reassure staff of their safety, they will feel safer wearing the equipment, which they can turn on with the press of a button.
Data from the NHS in England showed that 3,569 ambulance staff reported being assaulted in 2020/21 – a 32 per cent rise from five years previously.
Paramedics and other frontline ambulance staff in London and the North East have been trialling the use of the cameras.
After the successful pilot, the NHS is rolling out body cams to frontline ambulance staff across the country in a bid to curb violence against staff.
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Medics will wear the cameras and be able to press a button to start recording if patients or the public became aggressive or abusive, with filming made available to police where needed.
The trials also showed the cameras can assist in de-escalating situations where staff are faced with someone being aggressive towards them, the NHS said.
Commenting on the announcement, Unison’s deputy head of health, Helga Pile, said: “Ambulance staff who’re looking after sick and vulnerable patients should never have to face violence and abuse while doing their jobs. Body cameras can help to ensure their safety and bring attackers to justice.”
The move follows an initiative launched earlier this year which tasked every NHS trust in the country In this regards.