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Hard-hitting clip lays bare abhorrent abuse and threats levelled at staff

Published: Friday, 06 August 2021

Hard-hitting clip lays bare abhorrent abuse and threats levelled at staff

A hard-hitting video has laid bare an abhorrent litany of abuse levelled at staff in Lanarkshire.

Please note the clip can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/583271056

The 90-second clip features healthcare professionals recalling, verbatim, appalling incidences of hostility, racism and violent threats they have been subjected to.

Leaders from NHS Lanarkshire and the respective North and South Health and Social Care Partnerships in the region, have issued the footage to call out such behaviour – and to remind members of the public of the organisations’ zero tolerance stance.

Heather Knox, Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, Ross McGuffie, Chief Officer of Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire and Marianne Hayward, Interim Chief Officer of South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, united in a robust statement.

“This clip is so raw that it’s brought several senior colleagues, with many years of experience, to tears,” the statement reads.

“Sadly, we know this offers a harrowing snapshot of the harsh reality our health and social staff are experiencing on a wider basis due to the behaviour of a minority of people.

“We have a clear message to those who would display any form of violent or aggressive behaviour, be it verbal or physical, towards our staff: It never has been tolerated and it will certainly not be tolerated now.

“We are continually working in partnership with local police in the management of aggressive and violent individuals and we will continue to do so.

The statement adds: “We have an equally clear message to our staff and partners: We have your back.

“We are proactively encouraging all staff to report any such incidences to their line manager so we can reinforce existing supports, as required, and take appropriate action against the perpetrators.”

The short clip has been issued as health and social care partners continue to deal with pressures normally associated with winter months.

As has been well publicised, a combination of Covid cases, the effort to recover services and a shortage of staff due to annual leave or those having to self-isolate as a result of contacts outside of work is having an impact.

Unprecedented pressure is being felt across acute, community and primary care.

The statement continues: “Recent announcements that most Covid restrictions are to end from August 9 are a cause for great optimism and indeed celebration.

“That doesn’t mean, however, that our health and care services will instantly return to where we were before the pandemic. On the contrary. We have a very long way to go in the recovery process and we’ve called on the people of Lanarkshire to play their part by turning to the right place at the right time to help alleviate the pressures.

“We’d reiterate that message and reissue our plea for people to keep bearing with us. 

“Please be kind to our staff and colleagues who are committed to caring, no matter the circumstances.

“People can get frustrated, and we understand that - but think carefully before you speak and act.”

Message of support to staff:

Staff who participated in the video have been praised for their bravery.

The joint statement read: “It’s very evident that each and every one of these incidents have been very distressing for all those involved.

“The staff who have taken a stand and spoken out about their experience have shown great courage.

“It’s shone a light on the issue and allowed us to reiterate to those affected, and wider staff groups, supports available - and that they do not need to tolerate such unpalatable behaviour.”