Behind the Uniform Campaign

As incidents of violence and aggression against ambulance staff increase, we created a campaign entitled ‘Behind the Uniform’ to raise awareness of the shocking statistics.

In 14/15, ambulance staff reported 608 incidents of verbal abuse and threatening behaviour from members of the public but in 15/16, this number rose by 27 per cent to 755. The majority of these acts of aggression are aimed at emergency ambulance crews but staff working for the non-emergency patient transport service, call centres and 111 operators have also reported being targets of abuse.

In terms of physical assaults – NWAS saw a rise of five percent in 15/16 (390) compared to 14/15 which saw 371 recorded assaults. 

The objective of the Behind the Uniform campaign is to highlight that the Trust’s staff are people just like everyone else, with homes, friends and families and that these acts can be hurtful both physically and mentally and will not be tolerated. The campaign’s highlight is the release of videos featuring the children of NWAS staff explaining how they feel when their parents go to work and they hear of people being ‘mean’ to them.

The Trust has convened a dedicated group to tackle the issue of violence and aggression against staff. Made up of frontline staff, managers and union representatives, the group’s remit is to raise awareness amongst the public and staff, some of whom may wrongly believe that it is a part of the job and ignore minor incidents when it happens to them.

As part of the campaign, staff will also be given materials advising them on what to do if they are verbally or physically assaulted and encouraging them to report all incidents, no matter how minor, so they can be logged and, if necessary, a warning placed on the assailant’s address.

Links to the videos:

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