A hospital trust has launched hard-hitting campaign after revealing almost 300 staff were victims of attacks in the last 12 months.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust launched a Respect campaign last month featuring the children of its health care workers asking members of the public to keep their parents safe at work.
In the latest phase of the initiative, the trust is using hard hitting statistics to urge patients, relatives and members of the public to refrain from acts of violence or aggression towards staff.
The shocking statistics show that there were 296 reported incidents in 2018, a notable increase on the figure reported in the previous year.
With strong evidence both locally and nationally that violence is on the rise, the trust says it is doing everything it can to raise awareness of the threat and protect its staff.
Nationally, the Department for Health and Social Care is making crucial legal changes to ensure that those who are violent face the full force of the law.
The Government is empowering NHS organisations to involve the police if staff are subject to violence or aggression.
Already the trust has taken steps towards supporting police investigations by ensuring security staff wear body cameras.
Now as the winter period approaches, the trust expects to see a sharp rise in admissions and activity in its emergency department.
They say it is important that during this time of increased pressure, staff are allowed to get on with their job and are treated with the respect they deserve.
With a zero tolerance approach to violence and aggression, the trust hopes this campaign will support its mission to protect staff, patients and visitors.
Julie Gillon, chief executive at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all staff who work within my trust.
"This includes protecting them whilst they deliver care to the people of North Tees and Hartlepool.
"Unfortunately there has been an increase in reported incidents of violence and I hope the latest element of this campaign acts as a reminder to members of the public that staff work incredibly hard and it is completely unacceptable for them to be subject to any form of violence or aggression.”