Staff safety reviewed following horrific ambulance attack in Aylesbury – but stab vests ruled out

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A raft of safety measures have been announced by South Central Ambulance service after a medic was stabbed while responding to a 999 call.

Stephen Pullen, 43, from Eaton Road, Aylesbury, pleaded guilty to GBH at Aylesbury Crown Court last week and was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

On January 21 Pullen stabbed a member of the ambulance staff in the stomach with a screwdriver in Stoke Road, Aylesbury. The 38-year-old male victim was attending a call out from the offender.

This week ambulance service chiefs announced that more is being done than ever before to keep staff safe on the job.

John Dunn, head of risk and security at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As part of our risk management arrangements, the trust has an electronic incident reporting system and encourages staff to report all incidents including any violence or aggression incidents.

“The trust will also place markers or alerts on the addresses of patients or individuals who have been aggressive or violent towards our staff.

“When approaching a scene staff carry out a dynamic risk assessment and if they think that the scene is unsafe they can stand down and request further support from other trust staff and/or the police.

“Operational staff are provided with radios and can press a panic alarm if they are being subject to threats or assaulted.

“As part of its governance arrangements with private providers, the Trust has regular meetings with private providers to check that they have suitable arrangements in place to protect patients and staff. In light of the assault in Aylesbury the Trust is working with all private providers to ensure that their risk assessments on preventing violence and aggression towards their staff are suitable and sufficient and that there are robust measures in place to protect their staff.

“This Trust like all of the other Ambulance Service Trusts (with the exception of London Ambulance Service) does not provide stab vests to its staff. An analysis of assault incidents against ambulance staff has identified that the most common areas of injury following assault were to the head and the arms; the two areas where stab vests would not afford any protection.”