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28 January 2003

UNISON welcomes Jailing of man who assaulted nurse

Scotand largest healthcare union UNISON have today welcomed the jailing for three months of a hospital visitor who headbutted a nurse who was working in an Accident & Emergency Unit.

"Whilst we do not want to criminalise anyone it is totally unacceptable that this man while on a visit to an Accident & Emergency Unit headbutted a nurse who was trying to provide care to his relative, said Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser for Health."

The nurse has been off work for many weeks and as I understand is scarred by the incident and severely traumatised to the extent that she vowed never to work in A&E again.

A recent survey carried out by UNISON showed that over 40% of nurses and other NHS staff were being subjected to physical and verbal abuse. One hopes that this sends out a very clear message that being physically or verbally abused at work is not part of an NHS workers job.



Refer to UNISON Website : UNISONScotland presentation at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/nhs/violence/index.htm or more detail on the UNISON UK website at (www.unison.org.uk/features/features/0206nhsviolence.asp) which contains the results of a survey carried out last year and also details of Six Point Action Plan that UNISON launched in relation to health service workers.

For Further information contact: Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser for Health (07876-441-239)