Paramedics to be given body cameras to protect them from abuse
Paramedics will be given body cameras as part of a new wellbeing pledge ahead of the NHS’s 70th birthday.
NHS employers will also introduce fast-access systems to speed up access to free mental health support and physiotherapy for their staff.
The measures are part of the 10-year plan that the NHS will agree over the next 6 months as part of the planned £20.5 billion increase to NHS funding by 2023. The measures aim to:
reduce cases of physical and verbal abuse against the most at risk NHS workers
help staff manage their own health and return to work faster after illness, allowing more patients to be treated
In an initial pilot, 465 ambulances and their paramedics will be equipped with body cameras, with potential for a full rollout to all paramedics, and other priority areas.
The NHS is the UK’s largest employer with over 1.5 million staff, caring for a million patients every 24 hours. It is recognised as one of the most respected institutions in the UK, yet over 15% of NHS staff have experienced physical violence from patients, or their families, during the past year.
In the past year, 354 prosecutions have been brought against individuals who have subjected ambulance staff to violence – but estimates suggest this is a fraction of the total incidents.
Ruth May, Executive Director of Nursing, NHS Improvement said:
The NHS’s greatest asset is its people: frontline staff and managers who often work in highly stressful and challenging circumstances so that people get the safe and high quality care they deserve.
In order to secure the future of the NHS and what it stands for, we must strive to be the very best employer. This means looking after our staff and supporting their health and wellbeing. This will also enable them to deliver the best care possible, both now and in future.
Credit: Department of Health