NHS: Watch the moment a paramedic was assaulted by "abusive" patient
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This was the shocking moment a paramedic was attacked by a patient they were treating.
London Ambulance Service has released video footage of the moment a paramedic was pushed out the back of an ambulance by an abusive patient. The 30-year-old paramedic is shown crashing to the ground and landing hard on his elbow after the attack outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, in west London, earlier this year.
The paramedic said: “It was very painful – so much so I thought I had broken my arm at first. There was such a sharp pain and then numbness.”
The video then shows the patient getting out of the ambulance and displays no reaction as he walks past the paramedic who is still lying on the ground clutching his injured arm. Police were already on the scene and promptly arrested the patient, who has since been convicted and ordered to pay the paramedic compensation.
The paramedic said: “I’m glad this went to court because it reminds people this an unacceptable way to treat us and needs to be stopped. We come to work to help people, not for this. I always wear a body-worn camera now and I make sure I’m never alone with some patients who I think might be a risk.”
The patient had verbally abused both members of the ambulance crew, and used homophobic language because both men had long hair. He also urinated in the ambulance. The video footage was handed over to the police, which helped secure the patient’s conviction.
London Ambulance Service (LAS) has invested more than £3m in kitting out its ambulances with video cameras aimed at protecting crews.
Chief Paramedic Dr John Martin said: “Our ambulance crews and call handlers come to work to help Londoners at times of need. It is one of the best jobs in the city but we cannot, and will not, accept violence or physical threat towards them.
“Working with our partners, we will do everything possible to keep them safe, including securing convictions where possible.”
In the past year, there were 561 reports of physical assault on ambulance crews and while many offenders will never go to court on medical grounds, there were 38 successful prosecutions.
In the same year LAS submitted 156 clips of video evidence to police.