A healthcare assistant was stabbed by a patient who had allegedly smuggled in a sharp weapon to an NHS hospital.
The worker was stabbed at the Lewisham Hospital’s emergency department in south London on Tuesday, a report by Channel 4 News revealed.
The staff member was stabbed in the arm and suffered an injury so severe that they needed surgery under general anaesthetic the following day, it was reported.
A man has since been charged with section 18 wounding with intent.
After the incident, an anonymous colleague spoke of staff shortages and pressures in the A&E which is allegedly leading to anger from patients.
“We don’t have enough security staff, we don’t have enough doctors, nurses, staff in general,” they said.
The colleague added: “You have a pressure cooker effect, so we knew we have had enough incidents of verbal aggression, physical aggression.”
The colleague said police officers on site were able to subdue the patient and he was subsequently taken into custody.
They said increased aggression by patients “wears you down”.
The injured worker is now said to be recovering at home after surgery.
Alamy Stock Photo)
Jo Peck, joint acting Chief Nurse for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust told The Mirror that following the incident on Tuesday 23 November at University Hospital Lewisham, the organisation was supporting colleagues in the emergency department and the member of staff who was attacked; everyone is pleased that he is recovering well at home.
She added: “Like other NHS Trusts, we have been facing significant demand for our services and, sadly, rising levels of violence and aggression towards our staff – with some anger over the steps we need to take to keep people safe, such as asking visitors to wear face coverings.
“We held staff focus groups over summer and subsequently invited all staff to join a taskforce to deal with this issue – steps taken in response include introducing additional 24/7 security support at our hospitals.”
A Met Police spokesman told The Mirror: “A man has been charged after a member of staff was stabbed in the arm at Lewisham University Hospital.
“Christopher McTavish, 38, of no fixed abode, was charged on Wednesday, 24 November with section 18 wounding with intent.
“He appeared at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 25 November.
“Police were attending Lewisham University Hospital on Tuesday 23 November on a separate matter, when at approximately 15:44 hrs a member of staff was stabbed in the upper arm.
“The male was quickly arrested at the scene.
“The victim’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing.”