May 31, 2016

Assaults on NZ Ambulance Staff on the Rise

Verbal abuse and physical assaults on St John's Ambulance staff are increasing at a rate similar to that being experienced by doctors and nurses in hospitals, according to the New Zealand Ambulance Association.

Alcohol, recreational drugs, psychiatric presentations, public's expectations and frustration with the health system generally are all factors contributing to the increase.

A St John spokeswoman quoted by Stuff.co.nz said they worked closely with the New Zealand police and fire service to mitigate risks.

They had a zero-tolerance policy toward assaults on staff, though made allowances for patient and bystander emotions, which could run high at emergency incidents.

In addition the ambulance service operates a 'red flag' system to highlight addresses that may present an increased risk to crew members.

Maybo Training for Ambulance Staff