28 February 2022
Responding to the launch of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives national campaign #WorkWithoutFear Mrs Lisa Munro-Davies, Vice-President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“It is right that the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives has launched this vital campaign highlighting the shameful abuse of paramedic and ambulance staff responding to urgent and emergency calls in the community.
“The instances of abuse from verbal assault to physical harm are alarming and distressing, our solidarity is with paramedic and ambulance staff who face this each and every day while trying to do their jobs.
“We support the Work Without Fear campaign, and we support staff speaking up and speaking out. Facing abuse will be incredibly distressing and for some, sharing these instances may be incredibly challenging. Staff speaking out must be protected and provided with the support and care they need.
“It is critical, as AACE have pointed out, that the judiciary use The Assaults on Emergency Workers Act 2018 to charge and sentence those guilty of the most grievous acts of abuse – so too should this be used for Emergency Medicine staff who are assaulted or harmed in A&E.”
Jayne Hidderley, Chair of the Anti-Bullying Task and Finish Group, said:
“The Royal College fully supports this campaign, it aligns with our anti-bulling campaign RespectED to raise awareness of bullying, harassment and incivility in Emergency Departments.
“It is deeply saddening that similar to Emergency Medicine, Paramedics and ambulance staff face daily abuse ranging from verbal abuse to attacks with weapons. All abuse is extremely harmful, it is unacceptable, and no abuse will be tolerated.
“We pledge our full support to our paramedic and ambulance colleagues and commit to shed light on these horrific instances and help to raise awareness of the serious impact of this abuse on staff’s physical and mental wellbeing. Medical professionals work to serve their patients and their community, they deserve respect, and they must be able to deliver emergency care safely.”