Western Trust appeals to public to stop abusing staff

By Roisin Henderson
THE WESTERN Trust has issued an appeal to the public to treat its staff with respect, with the health body reporting an increase in abuse as visiting remains limited at its hospitals.
Despite the easing of restrictions in wider society Covid is still spreading in the local community.
With numbers similar to those seen even during some of the previous lockdowns, the Trust said it would be continuing with its current temporary visiting restrictions, but would be reviewing the limits again on March 21st. This means visiting to SWAH and other Trust hospitals remains limited to one visit, for one hour, per day per patient.
“Covid-19 transmission rates remain high in the community and the Western Trust continues to deal with challenges and pressures on our Hospitals,” said a spokesman.
“Staff absences due to Covid-19 and other sickness together with a sustained number of Covid-19 patients and Covid-19 outbreaks in our hospitals must continue to be managed.
“The Trust treats the safety of our patients, staff and everyone attending our facilities with the utmost importance and therefore strongly recommends that anyone attending any of our facilities to visit a loved one, to take a lateral flow test immediately prior to attending. This will help to reduce the risk for all patients.
“All infection and prevention control measures must be adhered to when visiting and this includes wearing a facemask properly which covers your nose and mouth at all times, in addition to proper hand washing and adhering to social distancing guidelines.”
As the visiting restrictions continue, the Trust has urged the public to “continue to work with us and please respect our staff and the guidance they give you at all times.”
With the Trust posting videos to social media from staff reporting an increase in abuse at the moment, the Trust spokesman said, “There have been incidents where our staff have received verbal abuse and harassment and we would ask everyone to please refrain from such behaviour and remind everyone that we operate a zero tolerance policy towards abuse across our Trust.
“We would like to thank you for your cooperation in relation to all essential recent changes to our visiting arrangements.
Your support helps us to provide safer care for your relatives and friends who are currently in hospital.”

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