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Personal Safety Blog

25 May 2016
 May 25, 2016
Gavel

Ashleigh Ewing Ten Years On: Has Lone Working Changed?

Ten years ago, mental health worker Ashleigh Ewing was brutally killed whilst out working alone on behalf of her employer, Mental Health Matters (MHM). Ashleigh was stabbed 39 times by Ronald Dixon when she made a routine visit to his home in Heaton, Newcastle. Dixon, who had a long history of disturbing mental health problems, was locked-up in a secure hospital after admitting manslaughter.

In May 2013, a report by an independent panel concluded that a “more robust approach” to Dixon’s care, particularly from April 11, 2006, to the days leading up to Ashleigh’s death, would have resulted in a review as to how appropriate lone visits to Dixon’s home were.

22 year old graduate Ashleigh lost her life after being sent alone to Dixon’s home with a debtor’s letter ordering him to pay for a phone which he had smashed inside the property days earlier, to take the coins from inside.

Was it appropriate to send a young

16 May 2016
 May 16, 2016
summer

Coping in Extreme Heat

With a shortage of hot, sunny days in the UK, it is no wonder that their arrival is welcomed with open arms. Whilst basking in the sunshine is ideal for some, it is very important to recognise when enough heat is enough. High temperatures, especially for long periods of time carry serious health warnings.

Why is extreme heat a problem?

Very hot weather poses risks to anyone, including dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. It can also make heart and breathing problems worse, especially for the very young and the elderly. If you are taking certain medications such as those that control body temperate or sweating, you may wish to take extra precaution when temperatures are high.

8 Tips for keeping cool

The following tips are designed to prevent heat-related illness and help you keep cool and comfortable during hot summers days.

Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of how active you are going to be, avoiding high sugar content drinks – these can cause your body to lose more fluid.
Stay indoors if possible, especially during

3 May 2016
 May 3, 2016
Military Working Dogs

Animal Attacks – No Laughing Matter

The classic image of the dog chasing the postie can invoke whimsical and often humorous thoughts. It harks back to the days of the Beano or Dandy where the likes of Dennis the Menace’s dog, Gnasher would regularly torment visitors. These days, we’re more likely to laugh at videos on YouTube of Westies or Jack Russells tearing their way through the mail as it’s delivered.

However, with a rise in hospital admissions from dog attacks, often causing permanent disabling injuries, it’s no laughing matter.

According to official statistics, there has been a 76% rise in admissions over the past ten years in England. Last year alone, this equated to a staggering 7,227 incidents.

Lone working outreach nurses and postmen/women visiting people’s homes are prone to these attacks. Dave Joyce of the Communication Workers Union said: “Over 15,000 postal workers have been attacked by dogs over the last five years for simply doing their jobs.”

MPs also expressed their concern over dog attacks. Survey results revealed that politicians have faced similar assaults when

11 April 2016
 April 11, 2016
Nurse no background resize

1 in 8 Workers Face violence in the Workplace

According to research published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in February 2016, one in eight people are victims of violence in the workplace. Employees reported being pushed or punched or even spat on. In more extreme cases, some victims reported being stabbed.

The findings revealed that the healthcare sector experienced the highest number of violent incidents with 22% of workers reporting an encounter. Some may question whether the reported number of assaults is misleading when taking in to account those that go unreported.

Results from the NHS staff survey in March 2016 revealed that 40% of Newcastle NHS employees did not report violence they experienced in 2015. In contrast, Jane Sayer, Director of Nursing at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust believes her Trust, amongst others, has an open and honest culture with incidents reported accordingly, “We always encourage our staff to be proactive in regards to reporting any incidents.” She later added “We also believe that a high rate of reported incidents is a positive thing. It represents a culture of openness where staff feel they can raise

1 March 2016
 March 1, 2016
Ambulance Speeding

Four in Ten Paramedics Assaulted Last Year

Paramedics are our lifeline – first at the scene and first to help in a medical emergency.
However, shocking statistics revealed by The New Day newspaper found that 40 per cent or Ambulance crews are physically attacked by the public and nine in 10 are showing signs of becoming mentally ill.

The investigation uncovered a surge in violent attacks, soaring 999 calls, and burned-out paramedics fleeing the service. Research shows that Paramedics have a rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 5.5 times that of war veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Almost a quarter of ambulance staff have PTSD, according to research published in the British Medical Journal, compared to four per cent of army veterans.

Figures obtained by the newspaper show that violence on call-outs is increasingly commonplace.

Two-fifths of ambulance staff say they were violently attacked at least once in 2015, up from just over a third the year before. The figure is 62 per cent among the basic-trained emergency care assistants who work alongside paramedics, up from 46 per cent in 2014.

Overall

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