Official figures show failure to report true extent of hospital staff abuse
Statistics, which reveal that the police attended just three incidences of abuse at Altnagelvin Hospital over a period of nearly a year, show just how many cases of physical and verbal attacks on staff and patients are still going unreported.
Despite figures which show that nurses, doctors and social workers were physically attacked 780 times in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) in 2009/10 alone, they are not being fully reported to the PSNI.
In 2009/10 just eight assaults at Altnagelvin - the largest facility in the Western Trust - were reported to the PSNI in Foyle, in spite of WHSCT figures which show that there were over 1,277 cases of verbal and physical abuse against healthcare staff in the Western Trust area in 2009/10.
Now, new figures, taken from the Western Trust incident report forms, reveal that between October 2010 and September 2011, the PSNI attended just three incidents of verbal abuse at Altnagelvin.