A survey of paramedics and alcohol related work: ascertaining fear of, and level of assault amongst the North East Ambulance Service

Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Neil Martin, Emma Giles, Christopher Moat, Colin Shevills

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Abstract

For North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) employees, contact with patients with alcohol related injury or illness is increasing, along with a general increase in workload. The aim of this survey was to ascertain the fear of, and actual levels of assault amongst NEAS employees, and to identify workload pressures arising from patient alcohol consumption. Basic procedures The survey, undertaken in 2014, looked at ‘risky locations’, frequency of physical and sexual assault, and workload pressures from alcohol related incidents. Main findings Thirty two per cent of NEAS frontline staff (n=358), completed the survey. The majority of callouts perceived to be alcohol related were at weekend nights. Ninety three percent of participants reported that they have experienced a threat of violence (n=332), with 47% of participants (n=168) having been assaulted by a (perceived) intoxicated member of the public, and 45% having endured some form of sexual assault or harassment (n=147). Additionally, 72% (n=244) reported feeling most at risk in private residences. The majority of participants (76%) did not feel they had received adequate training to deal with alcohol related incidences. Principal conclusions NEAS employees experience high levels of assault and fear of assault and current training needs to be revisited, especially around prevention and management of sexual assaults/harassment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalBritish Paramedic Journal
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2017

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