Homeless man who attacked A&E nurse ordered to get treatment for alcohol problem

12:00pm Monday 13th January 2014

By Jane Reader

A HOMELESS man who attacked a nurse in A&E has been ordered to get treatment for his alcohol problem.

Shaun Buchan lashed out and punched staff nurse Jennifer Wilkins when he was taken to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital on October 28 last year, Bournemouth magistrates heard, The court was told Buchan, 25, also gestured as if to bite Miss Wilkins, who was forced to call security while he was restrained by a colleague.

Magistrates heard Buchan had been abusive to the paramedics who had transported him to the hospital and had urinated in his clothes when he arrived at the emergency department. He became aggressive when medical staff attempted to remove his clothes to see if he was injured following an earlier incident.

A spokesman for the Royal Bournemouth Hospital trust said staff were encouraged to report all such incidents and added: “The trust does not tolerate any form of violence or aggression, including verbal abuse against its staff, visitors or patients.

“Members of staff receive training on how to deal with aggression and violence based on the likelihood of them experiencing this in their working environment.”

Julie Connolly, regional officer for the Royal College of Nursing in the South West region, said: “Even one assault is one too many.

“No one goes to work expecting to be assaulted and it’s all the more upsetting that some members of the public attack the very people trying to help them.

“In 2012-13 physical assaults against NHS staff in England has risen by 5.8 per cent. “Figures also showed a 15.9 per cent increase in criminal sanctions following reported assaults.

“We cannot allow nurses to be abused and we would expect the trust to be reassuring staff and reminding patients that abusive behaviour is not tolerated, and dealing swiftly with any problems that do arise.”

Buchan admitted the offence and also pleaded guilty to six offences of shoplifting and one of theft.

Items stolen between September and December last year included wine, lager, food, shoes and clothing, the court heard.

Buchan was given a 12-month community order, a six-month alcohol treatment order and was ordered to pay £50 compensation to the nurse.

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