The amount of cash being spent on security at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has tripled in just three years –while at the same time the number of medics being injured in attacks has also rocketed.
In 2016/17, health bosses stumped up £1.036m on security, with 101 staff members being hurt. In comparison, £335,000 was spent and 65 injuries reported in ‘13/14.
The surge in spending comes at a time hospital bosses have been forced to make tens of millions of pounds of savings.
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden [inset] said: “These figures are extremely alarming, not just in terms of the extra costs, but in terms of the stress and pressure on already over-worked NHS staff.
“The general state of pressure and crisis around the NHS will not have helped in these circumstances, but the management at the hospital need, in light of this, to explain more public detail how they are keeping staff safe, while also ensuring the hospital remains accessible.”
The amount of cash Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Vic, has spent on security has increased year-on-year, from £335,000 in ‘13/14 to £502,000 in ‘14/15, £770,000 in ‘15/16, and £1.036m last year, figures released under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws revealed recently.
Staff injuries during the same period peaked at 126 in 2014/15, with last year’s 101 incidents higher than the 65 in ‘13/14, and 97 in ‘15/16.
There were a total of 194 assaults reported last year, a separate FOI found, with ‘the medical condition of the assailant’ deemed to be a contributing factor in 150.
The trust, which employs 12 security guards and is understood to also use agency guards, said: “The security costs of £1.03m is the total cost of security at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and not purely a staff cost (for example equipment, training costs, CCTV equipment)”