A Freedom of Information request by ITV Tyne Tees revealed that over the past three years the North East Ambulance Service has paid out almost ninety thousand pounds to cover for staff who've taken time off work after being assaulted on duty.
Figures obtained show that
- 170 ambulance crews have been assaulted on duty
- 793 days have been lost due to staff being off work after being attacked
- The North East Ambulance Service has spent £88, 243 backfilling staff
– David Edwards, North East Ambulance Service
This money could be spent replenishing kit, updating kit. I mean a new ambulance is about £89,000. So spending that on backfilling staff who have been assaulted is an absolute waste of money
The GMB Union has described the figures as astonishing. It says they highlight the pressures that ambulance crews are working under.
793 sick days as a result of attacks on crews is, it says, a concerning statistic given proposals to cut NHS staff's sick pay by 25%
Watch Kenny Toal's report here: