Health bosses have spent more than 12million on security in the last five years amid a rise in attacks on NHS staff and patients. A total of 4,249 physical and non-verbal assaults were recorded at hospitals in the North East between April 2012 and March last year – an average of two a day.
NHS1 chiefs said attacks on its workers and patients were completely unacceptable . Figures released through a Freedom of Information request show The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spent 5,083,009 on security during the five years.
And the trust, which runs Royal Victoria Infirmary2 and Freeman Hospital3, recorded 208 physical incidents in 2012, but this rose to 249 five years later – a 20% increase. A trust spokesman said: The safety of our patients and staff is the trust s first priority and we take any incidents of aggression or violence towards staff very seriously.
The trust s annual security spend covers the security provision for all of our hospital sites and we have a number of schemes in place to help maintain the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff.
The County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which spent 3,107,252 on security, saw a huge 61% increase in the number of physical attacks at its hospitals. It recorded 147 incidents in 2012/13 but 238 assaults were reported five years later.
The RVI in Newcastle (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
A trust spokesman said: Our security team works around the clock, seven days a week, and has a number of responsibilities, principally protecting our buildings and facilities across several sites.
No one should ever feel at risk of attack while at work and we take the safety of our colleagues very seriously . We have policies, guidance and support in place designed to ensure they are kept as safe as possible.
We also have robust processes for the occasions when they feel threatened to give them appropriate help and support quickly. The figures show the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust spent 3,073,082 on security over five years, while 699 physical and non-verbal attacks were reported.
Meanwhile, the South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust said its security budget is set a 400,000 a year, meaning it could have spent up to 2m between April 2012 and March last year. During this period, health bosses recorded 553 incidents at its hospitals.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
A joint statement from the South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group, which runs hospital services in South Tyneside and Sunderland, said: The safety and security of our patients, visitors and staff is always a priority and we have security measures in place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at South Tyneside District Hospital4, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Sunderland Eye Infirmary.
We do not tolerate violent or abusive behaviour of any kind across our organisations and take a very proactive approach to make sure that we meet the highest security standards and protect people within our care.
The majority of security incidents reported are minor, but we have robust security procedures in place to ensure that any incident can be dealt with quickly and by working closely with the police where necessary.
The figures also revealed Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, spent 1.504,692 on security and recorded 780 incidents. Andy Colwell, who manages facilities and security at QE Gateshead, said: Our security team play a vital role in the hospital in protecting staff from abuse, but also providing support and assistance to the public.
It s important to note that a large proportion of violence against NHS staff in Gateshead is by patients who are unwell with diminished capability, so we need to provide specialist support, training and the appropriate level of intervention and protection .
At the hospital we also have a full range of panic alarms, security equipment and CCTV to help ensure the safety of staff and the public.
The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust refused to disclose how much money it spent on security.
A new Ministry of Defence policy document contains a series of stark warnings about threats to the UK’s defence sector. The strategy, which outlines plans to boost British defence exports, also highlights the threat from cyber-attacks1 has become much more serious. The 42-page document warns foreign intelligence services are more active than ever in covertly gathering information on Britain’s defence industry.
It claims this might range from technical details of weapons systems to the theft of intellectual property, which will threaten both national security and jobs in the UK. The document reads:
“The theft of information or disruption and damage of cyber infrastructure could compromise critical capabilities and is a direct threat to our national and economic security.
“We expect all suppliers to understand the scale and nature of the threat and implement robust standards to enhance their cyber security.”
It goes on to say all capabilities and companies involved in the supply chain are at risk. The strategy says last year the defence industry had a turnover of around 23 billion pounds, investing in 4,300 apprentices and directly supporting 142-thousand jobs.
The document also pledges to make it easier for smaller firms to get involved in the sector. It says the Ministry of Defence has an aspiration to place a quarter of defence business with small and medium-sized enterprises by 2020. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson says the revamped strategy would ensure the UK’s military and defence capabilities would remain the envy of the world.
However, Kevan Jones – a Labour former defence minister – claims the review fails to recognise the Treasury’s refusal to provide adequate funding to his department for new equipment.
“Multi-billion contracts for P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, Apache replacement helicopters and Army support vehicles have all been bought off the shelf from the US, putting UK jobs in jeopardy.
“By failing to properly invest at home, leading British manufacturing skills could be lost for good.”
Good day I am a freelance journalist, working independently, investigating Stolen Valour in the USA and around the world. Currently we have almost completed enough USA investigations for the first series of articles and are now widening the net further afield, to encompass the UK. Mr McManus has been the subject of several allegations of improperly running a company with regards to personnel insurance and payments, allegedly falsifying his CV and allegedly exaggerating his military background.
The main issue that I will be highlighting, should the facts support the allegations is whether Mr McManus has put lives at risk by purporting to be an expert in the field of security, when in fact he may possibly have had minimal military training whatsoever. If the allegations are not proven, we will make a full disclosure and apology to Mr McManus for the inconvenience. Several Independent sources have informed us that Mr McManus has allegedly made claims in the past, which he is unwilling or unable to verify. Claims such as having been a member of the British Parachute Regiment. Claims that he served with several Intelligence units attached to special forces. Claims that he was a commissioned officer. The list goes on. If you have any information to support or refute these allegations we would love to hear from you. If you served in any of these units or any others with Mr McManus we’d love to hear from you too.
Thank-you for your support.
Tom Smith email@example.com
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