Frew calls for action to protect A&E staff

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A North Antrim MLA is seeking to introduce tougher sentencing for those convicted of assaulting Accident & Emergency personnel.

DUP Assemblyman Paul Frew has made the first steps on the road to producing a Private Members’ Bill that, if passed, will bring sentencing into line for those convicted of assaulting Accident & Emergency Workers with sentencing for those convicted of assaults on police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers.

Mr Frew has already been successful in bringing sentencing into line for assaults on ambulance workers through an amendment to the Justice No2 bill in the Assembly in its last sitting.

Mr Frew stated “Staff working in A&E face enormous pressures on a daily basis administrating first aid and healthcare to people who need it quickly and urgently.

“On many ocasions they have to also be aware of the threat to their own health.

“Staff have been left with fractured bones, damaged eyes, broken noses after they were punched, kicked and manhandled by violent patients.

“They have had their hair ripped out, been bitten and scratched.

“This has a massive impact on their health even when they can return to work but the very fact that that staff member is having to take time away from the front line could put other lifes at risk too.”

Mr Frew added: “This Private Members Bill, if passed, will not stop all assaults but it would bring in tougher sentencing that hopefully will act as a deterrent and make people realise the service that these workers provide.”