Assaults on staff at Northampton hospital rise

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Sixty-eight members of staff at a Northamptonshire hospital were assaulted in 2009.

Northampton General Hospital managers say the rise from 63 last year was "a small increase".

More than 2,500 staff attended conflict resolution training courses to help them deal with potential confrontation.

"We always encourage staff to report incidents, so it's not surprising the number has risen slightly," security manager Andy Watkins said.

Legal consequences

"Nevertheless the number of reported assaults is a very serious matter.

"We do everything we can to prevent assaults from occurring, and to pursue sanctions following assaults when they do occur.

"The majority of physical assaults reported are by patients who are perhaps in a confused state, or otherwise affected by their medical condition or treatment.

"However, staff who are committed to provide health services should not expect to have to suffer violence at work.

"People who do assault our staff should suffer the legal consequences," Mr Watkins said.

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