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19.10.17

MPs to consider doubling penalty for NHS worker assault

A Private Members’ Bill which would increase sentences for people found guilty of assaults on emergency workers will be discussed on Friday.

The bill – proposed by Labour MP Chris Bryant – would double the maximum punishment for this type of assault to two years.

The proposal has already received government backing and report from groups such as NHS Employers, which believes the bill is a matter of safety for workers.

“NHS emergency staff, and indeed all health service staff, should feel able to perform their jobs, which save so many lives, without the threat of violence, abuse or harassment from patients or their relatives,” said NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer.

“The NHS has a zero-tolerance attitude towards violence and will pursue legal action against offenders whenever appropriate. We look forward to the outcome of Friday’s debate on the bill.”

Earlier this year, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) backed a similar piece of legislation which would have made attacks on hospital workers a specific offence.

A Government spokesperson said: "We owe our brave emergency service workers a debt of gratitude for the courage, commitment and dedication they demonstrate in carrying out their duties.

"This crucial change will send a clear message that we will not tolerate attacks on them, and we will work with Chris Bryant and others to ensure those who are violent face the full force of the law.”

Information on tomorrow’s debate tomorrow can be found here.

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