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Survey: Half of UK paramedics experienced physical violence at work

Of 2,345 paramedics surveyed, 89% said their jobs affect mental health, an issue that has worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic

CoP Survey Results 2021.jpg

Photo/College of Paramedics

By Jessie Forand

BRIDGWATER, England — In a survey from the United Kingdom’s College of Paramedics, a staggering 70% of paramedics reported feeling unsafe at work.

Paramedics in England have encountered a 32% increase in assaults over the last five years, according to the NHS England.

Nearly half of the 2,345 paramedics surveyed said they had experienced physical abuse; 80% reported verbal abuse while working.

Even more, 89%, said their jobs were taking a toll on their mental health. More than half, 69%, said the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened things.

“Enough is enough! It is time for us all to take a stand and find new ways of working together to prevent abuse from happening, as well as demanding zero-tolerance when it does occur,” said Tracy Nicholls, the college’s chief executive.

“It’s absolutely outrageous to think that so many paramedics have been abused whilst carrying out their duties, going above and beyond to help people when they are at their most vulnerable, and often in the most challenging of circumstances,” Nichols continued Worryingly, the abuse appears to have increased during the pandemic when paramedics are already exposing themselves to greater personal risk.”

Survey results will be used to “push forward collaboratively,” Nicholls said, to keep paramedics safe as they support others.