Police officers to be permanently stationed at Blackburn A&E

Royal Blackburn Hospital

Royal Blackburn Hospital

First published in News
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

TWO specially-trained police officers will be permanently stationed in Blackburn’s emergency department from next week, after an increase in physical violence and verbal abuse towards staff.

The £80,000 pilot project was agreed after frustrated police chiefs held talks with NHS officials over the number of call-outs to the Royal Blackburn Hospital - often to deal with drunk and abusive patients who frequently attend A&E.

Officers are called to the department three-times-a-day on average, which resulted in 1,230 police calls in the year to September 2013.

Although other towns and cities have had police stationed in their emergency wards at weekends and during the festive period, this is thought to be the most extensive scheme in the country.

The officers will start their role on Tuesday and become fully operational after a two-week induction period, with the project set to be reviewed in 12 months.

From Thursday to Sunday they will work shifts from 8am to 4am, then day shifts from Monday to Wednesday.

NHS and union bosses have welcomed the move, saying it will provide valuable support for staff and enable them to concentrate on treating patients, rather than having to deal with aggression and verbal abuse.

The Royal College of Nursing recently raised concerns that a third of staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) had reported being harassed, bullied or abused, which was among the highest rates in the country.

Meanwhile, data published by NHS Protect showed there were 114 reported assaults on staff in 2012/13, which was an increase on the 84 incidents in 2011/12.

Lancashire Constabulary said the officers would provide much more than just a security presence.

Chief Inspector Justin Srivastava said: “These two officers will be highly skilled individuals trained to identify complex frequent attenders at A&E who can benefit from other services.

“This is an extremely positive initiative across the health economy aimed at dealing with the root cause of the problem rather than treating the symptoms of the problem and thus allow resources to be utilised better both from a hospital and police perspective.”

The officers’ prime focus will be to identify and manage disruptive patients and encourage them to access other health, community and social care organisations such as mental health, housing, adult social care and substance misuse services, instead of A&E.

ELHT has been in special measures since last summer when NHS chief Sir Bruce Keogh made damning criticisms of the way it was run.

Many of the concerns focussed on the emergency department, which is the busiest in the North West and has repeatedly struggled to cope with the volume of patients seeking care.

Charles Thomson, clinical director of the emergency department, said the officers would help address some of the concerns raised by Sir Bruce, by identifying many of the patients who repeatedly turn up at hospital unnecessarily, and help them access other services.

“It also gives our staff increased support on site and increases police efficiency”, he added.

Karen Narramore, branch secretary for the Unison union, said: “The majority of patients don’t behave badly, but there are some who do, particularly those who have had too much to drink or might be frustrated when they are waiting for treatment.

“This has been a long-standing issue and I think this is a positive move that should free up staff so they can focus more on patient care. Staff will also be reassured to have police there as it will make them feel much more secure.”

Comments (19)

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6:30am Thu 27 Mar 14

Bluelizzy says...

Make it pay for itself.

Anyone being abusive or violent gets walloped with a big fine on top of any other punishment.
Make it pay for itself. Anyone being abusive or violent gets walloped with a big fine on top of any other punishment. Bluelizzy
  • Score: 46

7:55am Thu 27 Mar 14

.Lancs _ Pensioner says...

I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl
e atomoshere aswel.
I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl e atomoshere aswel. .Lancs _ Pensioner
  • Score: 21

9:06am Thu 27 Mar 14

mastergx says...

Bluelizzy wrote:
Make it pay for itself.

Anyone being abusive or violent gets walloped with a big fine on top of any other punishment.
Very good idea. The police have the power to charge people with public disorder so it shouldn't be a problem:They can fine people without necessarily arresting them. It could also act as a deterrent once word gets round that A & E is a No Tolerance Zone!
[quote][p][bold]Bluelizzy[/bold] wrote: Make it pay for itself. Anyone being abusive or violent gets walloped with a big fine on top of any other punishment.[/p][/quote]Very good idea. The police have the power to charge people with public disorder so it shouldn't be a problem:They can fine people without necessarily arresting them. It could also act as a deterrent once word gets round that A & E is a No Tolerance Zone! mastergx
  • Score: 26

9:16am Thu 27 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

.Lancs _ Pensioner wrote:
I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl

e atomoshere aswel.
Good! Totally agree! Not in the same league, I know, but perhaps at the same time they could slap a few fines on the selfish clowns who choose to ignore the NO SMOKING signs at the entrance.
[quote][p][bold].Lancs _ Pensioner[/bold] wrote: I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl e atomoshere aswel.[/p][/quote]Good! Totally agree! Not in the same league, I know, but perhaps at the same time they could slap a few fines on the selfish clowns who choose to ignore the NO SMOKING signs at the entrance. Darren1951
  • Score: 24

12:06pm Thu 27 Mar 14

drunken donut says...

.Lancs _ Pensioner wrote:
I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl

e atomoshere aswel.
Tried to understand your post, gave up.
[quote][p][bold].Lancs _ Pensioner[/bold] wrote: I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl e atomoshere aswel.[/p][/quote]Tried to understand your post, gave up. drunken donut
  • Score: -5

12:11pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

drunken donut wrote:
.Lancs _ Pensioner wrote:
I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl


e atomoshere aswel.
Tried to understand your post, gave up.
Take more water with it, then!
[quote][p][bold]drunken donut[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold].Lancs _ Pensioner[/bold] wrote: I had the misfortune of being in the Accident and Emergency dept around 17.00 hours sat just gone police everywhere and i did note 3 young men in handcuffs 2 with big head injuries unbelievable.Horribl e atomoshere aswel.[/p][/quote]Tried to understand your post, gave up.[/p][/quote]Take more water with it, then! Darren1951
  • Score: 9

12:46pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Jarisleif5 says...

I had to go to the emergency department at the local hospital here in the States yesterday, and it is standard procedure to have two armed police officers behind the desk. That was quite reassuring in this day and age.
I had to go to the emergency department at the local hospital here in the States yesterday, and it is standard procedure to have two armed police officers behind the desk. That was quite reassuring in this day and age. Jarisleif5
  • Score: 12

1:05pm Thu 27 Mar 14

juanbbien says...

This is a sign of the times we now live in a visit to the Hospital or Infirmary meant you showed some respect to the Doctors and Nurses treating you and were greatfull for their help,now at weekends especially it as become like a war zone with idiot drunks,druggies and god knows what and yes it is a good idea to have permanent Police in attendance staff shouldn't have to put up with this unruly behaviour
This is a sign of the times we now live in a visit to the Hospital or Infirmary meant you showed some respect to the Doctors and Nurses treating you and were greatfull for their help,now at weekends especially it as become like a war zone with idiot drunks,druggies and god knows what and yes it is a good idea to have permanent Police in attendance staff shouldn't have to put up with this unruly behaviour juanbbien
  • Score: 15

3:04pm Thu 27 Mar 14

boynesider says...

a sad state of affairs,i have seen some of these abusers first hand.it is time to take the kid gloves off and arrest ,sentence and maybe jail some of these repeat offenders.let them know their behaviour wont be tolerated.wasters
a sad state of affairs,i have seen some of these abusers first hand.it is time to take the kid gloves off and arrest ,sentence and maybe jail some of these repeat offenders.let them know their behaviour wont be tolerated.wasters boynesider
  • Score: 8

4:04pm Thu 27 Mar 14

mavrick says...

Just what has happened to common courtesy, Respect, and a little gratitude to the people who are trying their best in stressful circumstances. This type of behaviour would not have been tolerated when I was younger, The trouble is nowadays you are likely to get knifed if you reprimand these drunken, or drug ridden, morons. I have to say the courts do not punish these people anywhere near hard enough. I would not hesitate on putting a surcharge on the pubs and clubs to help cover the true cost of the alcohol problem.
Just what has happened to common courtesy, Respect, and a little gratitude to the people who are trying their best in stressful circumstances. This type of behaviour would not have been tolerated when I was younger, The trouble is nowadays you are likely to get knifed if you reprimand these drunken, or drug ridden, morons. I have to say the courts do not punish these people anywhere near hard enough. I would not hesitate on putting a surcharge on the pubs and clubs to help cover the true cost of the alcohol problem. mavrick
  • Score: 3

4:50pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Interocitor says...

In 2009 David Cameron pledged to crackdown on violence against nurses and other NHS staff. Not heard a peep about this since he became PM. Typical politician - they promise the moon om a stick while in opposition, but once in government it's another kettle of fish.
In 2009 David Cameron pledged to crackdown on violence against nurses and other NHS staff. Not heard a peep about this since he became PM. Typical politician - they promise the moon om a stick while in opposition, but once in government it's another kettle of fish. Interocitor
  • Score: 5

5:36pm Thu 27 Mar 14

peely says...

Why build some stocks outside A& E then give ' em twenty lashes with the birch - believe me they would never do it again ! Make good viewing as well !
Why build some stocks outside A& E then give ' em twenty lashes with the birch - believe me they would never do it again ! Make good viewing as well ! peely
  • Score: 4

5:49pm Thu 27 Mar 14

ikap22 says...

peely wrote:
Why build some stocks outside A& E then give ' em twenty lashes with the birch - believe me they would never do it again ! Make good viewing as well !
Totally I agree, but its never goin to happen.
[quote][p][bold]peely[/bold] wrote: Why build some stocks outside A& E then give ' em twenty lashes with the birch - believe me they would never do it again ! Make good viewing as well ![/p][/quote]Totally I agree, but its never goin to happen. ikap22
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Thu 27 Mar 14

mys says...

Lock them up and name and shame the thugs ,sorry but people don't want to see or hear idiots at a hospital when they attend,I was there with my son just before Xmas,a very stressful and upsetting time may I ad,there were crowds in the reception area until early hrs ordering pizzas and shouting abuse at people walking in,they even left there empty rubbish boxes thrown all over the place,I often wondered what the security were being paid for sat behind there desk chatting girls up,not nice at all,on another occasion they brought in a woman handcuffed to two officers onto the ward were there was very critical patients because she was drunk and hurt herself,they had to stay with her all night I case she attacked a member of staff,it's disgraceful and also costing us tax payers,those policemen should have been attending genuine incidents not having to waste time staying with a stupid b--ch
Lock them up and name and shame the thugs ,sorry but people don't want to see or hear idiots at a hospital when they attend,I was there with my son just before Xmas,a very stressful and upsetting time may I ad,there were crowds in the reception area until early hrs ordering pizzas and shouting abuse at people walking in,they even left there empty rubbish boxes thrown all over the place,I often wondered what the security were being paid for sat behind there desk chatting girls up,not nice at all,on another occasion they brought in a woman handcuffed to two officers onto the ward were there was very critical patients because she was drunk and hurt herself,they had to stay with her all night I case she attacked a member of staff,it's disgraceful and also costing us tax payers,those policemen should have been attending genuine incidents not having to waste time staying with a stupid b--ch mys
  • Score: 3

6:18pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Legal Beagle says...

Another first for Blackburn.

What a God-forsaken dump it's become, like an English version of Detroit. I bet Waitrose can't wait to open a store there, but they'll have to come up with some own-brand super-strength lager to satisfy the sophisticated local palates.
Another first for Blackburn. What a God-forsaken dump it's become, like an English version of Detroit. I bet Waitrose can't wait to open a store there, but they'll have to come up with some own-brand super-strength lager to satisfy the sophisticated local palates. Legal Beagle
  • Score: 1

6:39pm Thu 27 Mar 14

phil kernot says...

Smack heads , junkies, and drunks should be told to leave a deposit before there treated ,,,,,then if they kick off don't give it them back ,,, have you noticed how its just the low life's in life thay waste our tax payers money ,,, simple stop there benefits till they get clean. ,,
Smack heads , junkies, and drunks should be told to leave a deposit before there treated ,,,,,then if they kick off don't give it them back ,,, have you noticed how its just the low life's in life thay waste our tax payers money ,,, simple stop there benefits till they get clean. ,, phil kernot
  • Score: 3

10:05pm Thu 27 Mar 14

noddy57 says...

Bluelizzy wrote:
Make it pay for itself.

Anyone being abusive or violent gets walloped with a big fine on top of any other punishment.
at one time these places were respected by everyone and so they should be but its a shame today we need police officers to keep all the ante social low life in check who have not got the brains to realise that the hospital staff are trying to help them, the fines idea from the earlier post is an excellent idea, hospitals and the people who staff them should be respected and lauded for all their selfish hard work and dedication its just so sad that they need protection for helping people.
[quote][p][bold]Bluelizzy[/bold] wrote: Make it pay for itself. Anyone being abusive or violent gets walloped with a big fine on top of any other punishment.[/p][/quote]at one time these places were respected by everyone and so they should be but its a shame today we need police officers to keep all the ante social low life in check who have not got the brains to realise that the hospital staff are trying to help them, the fines idea from the earlier post is an excellent idea, hospitals and the people who staff them should be respected and lauded for all their selfish hard work and dedication its just so sad that they need protection for helping people. noddy57
  • Score: 3

11:37pm Thu 27 Mar 14

fireonthemountain says...

Yes indeedy !!

I had to go for a very minor operaton in Blackburn Royal recently .

I was treated very well - staff , without exception , deserve 10/10 .

However - may I make a few observations ?

These are based on personal experiences , and from the fact that my wife has worked in Hospitals and Schools all her life .

1 - It is utterly unacceptable for anyone to go to work and be threatened or
otherwise feel unsafe - especially when they are trying to help people who have genuinely suffered injury .

2 - There is no point in fining such people - they will only go out and steal to pay their fines .

Let me give you some examples and the solutions . I don't expect everyone to agree with me , but here goes .

I once went to pick my wife up from a hospital at 5pm , at the end of her shift . Wife was delayed , as an horrendous road crash had occured .
Well , you don't just say , I'm finished for the day , do you ?
Anyway - an utterly arrogant slimeball , you had parked his Rover across
two parking spaces , grabbed my wife by the arm , and demanded to be seen immediately . Wife had just been unsuccessful in saving someones life .
I put him up against the wall and threatened him . Nobody , but nobody does that to the girl I love . He drove away , guess he wasn't so ill after all . What would you have done ?

I've seen it all - A+E in Glasgow .
Blood pouring out of people who have been stabbed , wrong place , wrong time .

Solution ?

JAIL .

No ifs , no buts , no Social Worker reports .

Last bit (sorry to go on) -

In the late 50's , early 60's , Glasgow had a real problem with
the "razor gangs" - teddy boys . The media - newspapers - radio - and the Police , announced a total crackdown on those carrying knives .

Anyone caught carrying a knife was going down for seven years .

The next day they did a stop and search .

Caught twenty-two people . All arrested . NEXT DAY they ALL started their seven year sentence .

Knives disappeared overnight .

That's the way to do it .
Yes indeedy !! I had to go for a very minor operaton in Blackburn Royal recently . I was treated very well - staff , without exception , deserve 10/10 . However - may I make a few observations ? These are based on personal experiences , and from the fact that my wife has worked in Hospitals and Schools all her life . 1 - It is utterly unacceptable for anyone to go to work and be threatened or otherwise feel unsafe - especially when they are trying to help people who have genuinely suffered injury . 2 - There is no point in fining such people - they will only go out and steal to pay their fines . Let me give you some examples and the solutions . I don't expect everyone to agree with me , but here goes . I once went to pick my wife up from a hospital at 5pm , at the end of her shift . Wife was delayed , as an horrendous road crash had occured . Well , you don't just say , I'm finished for the day , do you ? Anyway - an utterly arrogant slimeball , you had parked his Rover across two parking spaces , grabbed my wife by the arm , and demanded to be seen immediately . Wife had just been unsuccessful in saving someones life . I put him up against the wall and threatened him . Nobody , but nobody does that to the girl I love . He drove away , guess he wasn't so ill after all . What would you have done ? I've seen it all - A+E in Glasgow . Blood pouring out of people who have been stabbed , wrong place , wrong time . Solution ? JAIL . No ifs , no buts , no Social Worker reports . Last bit (sorry to go on) - In the late 50's , early 60's , Glasgow had a real problem with the "razor gangs" - teddy boys . The media - newspapers - radio - and the Police , announced a total crackdown on those carrying knives . Anyone caught carrying a knife was going down for seven years . The next day they did a stop and search . Caught twenty-two people . All arrested . NEXT DAY they ALL started their seven year sentence . Knives disappeared overnight . That's the way to do it . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 7

12:05am Fri 28 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

Fotm - I haven't experienced any of the unpleasant experiences that you and your wife have, but I'm in total agreement with what you say. I'd go one (or more) degree(s) further, and consider the re-introduction of capital punishment in extreme cases, such as the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. The way that things are going gives at least a little credibililty to the conspiracy theory of the NWO, and the their alleged aim of reducing the global population to, I think, something like 2 billion.
Fotm - I haven't experienced any of the unpleasant experiences that you and your wife have, but I'm in total agreement with what you say. I'd go one (or more) degree(s) further, and consider the re-introduction of capital punishment in extreme cases, such as the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. The way that things are going gives at least a little credibililty to the conspiracy theory of the NWO, and the their alleged aim of reducing the global population to, I think, something like 2 billion. Darren1951
  • Score: 2

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