Fifth of LGBTQ+ staff attacked while working

New figures have shown that one in five NHS staff who are LGBTQ+ say they have been attacked while working in the last year.

More than 20 per cent of those identifying as gay and bisexual responded to the 2018 NHS Staff Survey by highlighting having experienced at least one attack in the last 12 months from patients, service users, relatives or other members of the public. That is over five per cent higher than the figure for all NHS staff.

The data also shows that a third of ambulance staff, some 7,000 workers, have been victims of violence in the past year. The figures have prompted the government to announce a series of measures that could see all paramedics given body-worn cameras, with health chiefs pledging to spend £8 million on a pilot that will see staff at three ambulance trusts wear them.

Health Minister Stephen Hammond is expected to use an upcoming speech to call for a collective endeavour to ensure all NHS staff are treated with respect and able to carry out their duties without fear of violence or abuse.

He will say: “We will do this only through our collective endeavour, a broad coalition of NHS organisations, care services, national government, local authorities and the judiciary. By taking decisive action against those who attack and abuse others and creating environments where safety and respect win out over intimidation and violence, we can make sure every NHS member of staff is protected, supported and valued. Progress is being made, but we can and must do better. Complacency is always the enemy of change.”

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