Hoghton paramedic attack victim: We suffer daily

A paramedic who was assaulted by a patient has spoken out against the ‘daily abuse’ suffered by frontline NHS staff.

Shaun Tierney, 39, was assaulted after being called to the Yates’s Wine Lodge, Church Street, in Preston.

Mr Tierney, who has been in the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) for 18 years, had helped 47-year-old Heather Bamber from the pub’s toilets into the ambulance.

Bamber, of Hoghton, became obstructive and started to lash out hitting the paramedic a number of times during the incident earlier this year.

She denied the charge, but at Preston Magistrates' Court she was found guilty of common assault and sentenced to 60 hours’ community service, ordered to pay £100 compensation to her victim and £300 in court costs.

Mr Tierney, who lives in Grimsargh, said that this was not an isolated incident and paramedics were subjected to ‘daily abuse and violent behaviour’.

He said: “We are constantly dealing with verbal and physical abuse and it is usually drug and alcohol fuelled.

“We have reached a point where it has become the norm and we just tolerate it.

“It really shouldn’t be like this because we are trying to do our job, which is delivering a vital emergency service, and we are getting abuse from people who should know better.”

During the incident on May 29, Mr Tierney said that Bamber hit him repeatedly on the arm then finally punched him in the genitals. He added: “Without a doubt it has got worse over the past few years and it seems to be a reflection on the loss of values within society.

“It’s not just confined to certain classes either. We get abuse in council houses and one million pound mansions.”

Peter Mulcahy, Area Head of Service for NWAS, said: “It is intolerable that our crews have to face this sort of abuse whilst doing their job.

“We will not accept any violence or aggression towards them, our equipment or vehicles.”

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