Paramedic sexually assaulted by patient reveals scale of abuse suffered by staff

A paramedic who was sexually assaulted by a patient she was trying to help has spoken out to highlight just how often it happens.

Lizzie Smith has waived her right to anonymity after the man who she was treating for a head injury was sentenced.

She told ITV News about the short and long term impacts of dealing with the threat of physical and verbal assaults at work.

Lizzie reported her attacker to the police and earlier this month he was fined and put on the sex offenders for five years.

London Ambulance Service says between January and August this year staff reported 349 physical assaults. The includes being groped, punched and attacked with a weapon.

Medics and call handlers also reported 499 verbal attacks. But over the past ten years only 330 people have been convicted.

The GMB Union represents ambulance staff and says it put huge pressure on a service that is already stretched.

Lizzie hopes that by speaking up she will encourage other colleagues to do the same.

London Ambulance Service says it will push for prosecution and the strongest possible sentence for anyone who assaults their staff.