Paramedics’ dan­ger hotspots dou­ble in two years

Rochdale Observer - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS - Paul.brit­ton@men-news.co.uk @PaulBrit­tonMEN

DAN­GER ad­dresses in Greater Manch­ester where paramedics could face vi­o­lence have more than dou­bled in just two years, our sis­ter pa­per the M.E.N. can re­veal.

Our in­ves­ti­ga­tion has found that 165 ad­dresses are now flagged for ‘vi­o­lence and ag­gres­sion’ on the North West Am­bu­lance Ser­vice’s dis­patch sys­tem.

The mark­ers in­di­cate where po­lice as­sis­tance is needed – or where paramedics can ex­pect abu­sive res­i­dents and should ‘pro­ceed with cau­tion’.

The fig­ures, re­vealed after a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Re­quest, in­clude 36 ad­dresses in Manch­ester, 23 in Sal­ford, 20 in Rochdale and 19 prop­er­ties in Old­ham.

It marks a huge rise from the 77 ad­dresses recorded across the re­gion in 2015, al­though the fig­ures are down from the 215 prop­er­ties flagged up in 2016.

The fig­ures re­veal 15 ad­dresses in Bury carry warn­ings, 14 in Wi­gan, 12 in Bolton, 11 in Tame­side, eight in Stock­port and seven in Traf­ford.

Year-on-year in­creases were recorded in Bury, Old­ham, Rochdale and Sal­ford.

NWAS chiefs said record­ing and reg­is­ter­ing dan­ger ad­dresses have im­proved since 2015, with a new sys­tem and process in place for cap­tur­ing in­ci­dents. Am­bu­lance crews, NWAS said, are now also more en­gaged in re­port­ing and record­ing in­ci­dents.

Ac­cord­ing to the data, as of July this year 5,600 ad­dresses across the UK have been flagged – com­pared to 5,200 at the end of 2015.

Labour MP Chris Bryant is set to pro­pose stiffer sen­tences for at­tacks on emer­gency ser­vices work­ers.

A spokesper­son for North West Am­bu­lance Ser­vice said: “Vi­o­lent in­ci­dents are taken ex­tremely se­ri­ously and are very trau­matic for our staff.

“It’s im­por­tant for us to flag up any ad­dresses that we feel there may be a po­ten­tial for vi­o­lence as our staff can be put in a vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tion. We also have steps in place for our crews to take so that we can sup­port them if they do feel they are in any dan­ger.

“Staff mem­bers that are sub­ject to any form of vi­o­lence or ag­gres­sion are of­fered a great deal of sup­port from the trust, both phys­i­cally and men­tally, but we do urge peo­ple to be re­spect­ful and please re­mem­ber that our am­bu­lance crews are only hu­man and are here to help.”

●●Paramedics re­spond­ing to an emer­gency call

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