Posted: Wed 27th May 2020

Ambulance crews dealing with ‘growing number’ of patients turning aggressive when asked to wear face masks

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

The Welsh Ambulance Service has said crews are dealing with “growing number” of patients turning aggressive when asked to wear face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Ambulance crews are attending every call across Wales in protective equipment, which includes masks, visors, aprons and coveralls, in addition to their standard gloves.

Some patients are also being asked to wear a surgical mask as a precautionary measure to halt the spread of the virus, especially those who exhibit symptoms.

“A growing number of patients have become aggressive when being asked to comply and a small number of colleagues have also been the victim of physical assault.” the Trust has reported.

Claire Roche, the Trust’s Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, said: “At this time, our crews will attend all incidents with personal protective equipment.

“What you may not be aware of is that they may also ask you, the patient, to put on a surgical mask.

“The reason they do this is to not only protect you but also for the protection of the people around you.

“If we do ask you to put on a mask, please do not be alarmed and follow the instructions of our staff.

“We understand how distressing this situation may be and we also understand that putting on a mask while having shortness of breath may seem counter-intuitive but it is the right thing to do.

“Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, our staff have reported a growing number of instances in which patients have been aggressive and have even been the subject of an assault after asking a patient to put on a mask.

“Assaulting our staff is never acceptable, no matter the circumstances.”

In a video message shared to the Trust’s Twitter feed, Claire added: “We are here to help, never to harm.
“We ask all of you, the people of Wales, to please continue to trust our staff and to comply with the instructions we may give you.”

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