Police join forces with NHS to make local hospital even safer

07 Jun 2016 15:33 PM

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Northumbria Police has joined forces with the NHS to make a local hospital even safer.

West Shields Neighbourhood Policing Team has been working closely with security staff at South Tyneside District Hospital to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour within the grounds.

The work has also seen quick action taken against people responsible for assaulting staff and last month a woman was given a conditional discharge after she pleaded guilty to common assault on a member of hospital staff.

The initiative, which has now been running  for 12 months, sees officers working with security staff to discuss any issues that may arise and ensure appropriate action is taken, it also enables police to update staff on incidents at the hospital.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: "The workplace should not be a setting where people are subjected to threats of or actual violence, harassment or abuse. Whether you are a police officer, nurse, bus driver or teacher – this type of behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and must not be tolerated. We all have the right to return home from work unharmed, simple as that.

"With this excellent partnership work, we are working together to manage risk, encourage reporting and offering appropriate help and support to those who need it. It’s pleasing to see this initiative is working well and I will ensure our officers continue with this commitment to preventing harassment and violence at work as best they can."

Local Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Young said: "South Tyneside District Hospital is a large establishment with thousands of staff, patients and visitors passing through each day and it is only right that they should be able to do so with out fear of violence or crime.

"It's fair to say it is only the very few minority of people at the hospital who will be affected by crime but by working closely with the NHS and hospital security staff we can reduce this even further and help ensure the vicinity remains a safe place.

"Working closely also enables us to understand each other's procedures and protocols as well as give staff more courage to come forward and report incidents to us. We're really pleased to be working with the hospital in this way and hope our local communities will reap the benefits."

Andy Kane, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Head of Health, Safety and Facilities, said: "Our patients, visitors and staff have the right to use our services, visit, and work, without fear of violence or harm and we have in place a range of policies and processes to protect and support them.

"By working in partnership with the police, we can ensure that they can be certain that any act of violence, aggression or harm will be dealt with at the appropriate level and when there are cases that require prosecution that these will be handled in the most effective way.

"We have already seen evidence of success from this partnership, which has increased the confidence of patients, visitors and staff to report any incidence of violence, aggression or harm and we look forward to strengthening these links to further support our community."

- Phototographs shows pictured outside South Tyneside District Hospital, left to right, Police Community Support Officer Lee Sherriff, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Fire, Safety and Security Manager Glenn Mattinson, Clinical Operational Manager for Urgent Care Kay Stidolph and Emergency Department Manager Julie Russell, and Police Community Support Officer Dan Baxter   


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