The unions further added that many community pharmacies have significant challenges with establishing social distancing for safe working in a service that requires most members of the team to be in close proximity to patients. Employees, locums and patients all need to know that community pharmacy is a safe place (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images).

NHS has joined forces with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to approve a joint agreement on offences against emergency workers.

In a letter to the NHS workforce, published today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government will not tolerate assaults, physical or verbal, against NHS staff and volunteers.

“You should not tolerate violence or abuse either,” Hancock told NHS workforce. “Being assaulted or abused is not part of your job.”

He said the joint agreement will ensure that those who act violently and with criminal intent towards NHS staff are swiftly brought to justice.

The join agreement provides a framework to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of cases where staff are the victim of a crime and sets out the standards victims of these crimes can expect.

“All assault and hate crimes against NHS staff must be investigated with care, compassion, diligence and commitment. In the 2019 NHS Staff Survey, 49 per cent of staff said that last time they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse at work it was reported – I want to see this figure increase,” Hancock said.

The health secretary asked the workforce to report every incident and act of abuse or violence against themselves or a colleague. He assured that the acts committed by those in crisis or with neurological conditions will be handled properly.

The 2019 NHS Staff Survey showed 15 per cent of NHS Staff experienced physical violence from members of the public and patients in the past year. It is 34 per cent among ambulance trust staff.

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