A MEMBER of staff who works for the Morecambe Bay hospital trust has described abuse from members of the public as ‘the norm’.
The unnamed worker, who was bombarded with ‘threatening, homophobic and abusive language’ during an incident while on duty, has spoken out saying it left them feeling ‘anxious and upset’.
The revelations follow a court case, held at Lancaster Magistrates Court, during which the ‘abusive’ member of the public was sentenced to 180 hours of community service and ordered to pay £100 in court costs and £100 in compensation.
“Sadly abuse at some level has become part of the day to day job in the NHS and is taken as the norm,” said the member of staff, who works for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, which runs Westmorland General, Furness General and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
“This however is clearly not acceptable, and it was the trust that highlighted this to me.
“It wouldn’t be accepted in any other work environment and when at work trying to help people, we should not be made to feel threated as I was.”
They continued: “We all know that people are under pressure and stress when a patient or relative is in hospital and consideration is rightly given to this, but threats and acts of personal violence should not be tolerated in a workplace.
“I would wholly encourage people to actively follow the process I did and make the hospital environment safer for both staff and patients.”
The member of the public was found guilty of ‘using threatening, homophobic and abusive language’.
Local Security Management Specialist for the hospital trust, Dan Willis, said: “I am incredibly proud of this member of staff for pursuing criminal proceedings despite their concerns.
“This sends a very clear message to those who think they can treat our staff without respect and dignity when they visit one of our hospital sites that we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour and will seek to prosecute in every case.”