THE MAJORITY of paramedics in Wokingham and beyond have felt threatened while at work, according to a new survey.
The College of Paramedics has revealed nearly three quarters (72%) of those working in the South East have feared for their safety while on duty – slightly higher than the national average (70%).
The report also found nearly half (49%)of those surveyed have been physically abused on shift, while four out of five (80%) have faced verbal abuse.
The findings come one month after NHS England found paramedics saw results rise by a third (33%) in the past five years.
Tracy Nicholls, chief executive of the College of Paramedics, said: “We have long been aware of the physical and verbal abuse that paramedics suffer and the toll it takes on their health and wellbeing – but this is the first time that a large-scale survey of this kind has revealed the extent of the problem.”
She said paramedics go above and beyond to support the vulnerable.
“It’s absolutely outrageous to think that so many paramedics have been abused whilst carrying out their duties,” Ms Nicholls added. “Worryingly, the abuse appears to have increased during the pandemic when paramedics are already exposing themselves to greater personal risk.”
And she is concerned it is affecting medics’ mental health, as nearly all (89%) of those surveyed said the abuse directly impacts their health and wellbeing.
The College of Paramedics will now form part of the NHS Health and Wellbeing team to provide further support to paramedics in the South East and beyond.