With support from the Welsh Government, the NHS in Wales is running a poster campaign highlighting its policy of zero tolerance to attacks on its primary care workers, such as pharmacists, GPs and their staff.
While the message is mainly about primary care workers, the Health Minister is warning party-goers that hostile behaviour against anybody working for the NHS will bear the full weight of the law.
Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths said:
“Since 2009 Welsh Government, the NHS, Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been working together to reduce the risks of violence and aggression against health workers.
“In addition to this, significant progress has been made to support staff affected by violence or aggression and to take action against perpetrators. In the 18 months since April 2010 we have seen nearly 200 successful prosecutions. This is massive improvement in the number of prosecutions, which in recent years were in single figures.”
The campaign posters let the public know that violence or aggression towards the health care workers is unacceptable. Pharmacists and GP surgeries are being encouraged to display the posters in prominent areas of their premises to remind people using their services that if they act in an aggressive way, they will be prosecuted.
Lesley Griffiths added:
“It has been said we’ll experience two Black Fridays this year. I urge people to drink responsibly. If you are in need of medical attention over the Christmas period, remember to Choose Well – ringing NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 if you are in any doubt about the treatment you need. And if you do need to call the emergency services or visit an A&E department, please remember that any aggression towards the hard-working, dedicated staff will be met with stiff penalties. Have a merry, and safe, Christmas.”