CPS and Emergency Dept at HRI work together to prevent offending

09/10/2013

The CPS has today taken action to strengthen the case against anyone who commits an offence in Hull Royal Infirmary’s (HRI) Emergency Department.

Community Team Prosecutor Yvette Levy has worked with Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Humberside Police to detail the impact of crimes in the HRI Emergency Department on patients and staff.

Yvette said:

"We all know that staff in Emergency Departments have to cope with a lot, often treating people who are drunk or aggressive or both. Staff have been spat at, bitten, punched and kicked.

"Each day around 400 patients pass through the department often bringing with them concerned friends and relatives. This is a challenging and complex environment with patients who might be in a vulnerable, confused or traumatising situation and the impact a crime committed in this environment could be considerable.

"This is a lot for medical and nursing staff to manage whilst trying to administer treatment and care so it's essential that they feel supported by the criminal justice system.

"Working with the Nurse Director for Medicine, we have produced a Community Impact Statement (CIS) which details the impact of crime on those who work in the department or those being treated in it. For some time we have been using Victim Impact Statements which allow a victim to detail to the court the impact of the crime and we'll continue to do this. By using the CIS as well, we can go one step further.

"The CIS means that when a lawyer is deciding whether a prosecution is in the public interest they are better informed of the impact of this crime. The prosecutor can also read out this statement in court to ensure the court is aware and can reflect this in the sentence given.

"The statement which can be used in relation to any offence committed in the department explains how crime diverts staff away from patients and putting their own safety and the safety of their patients at risk.

"By highlighting the impact of the crimes in this way staff and patients can be confident that their collective voice will be heard ad the offender will be properly prosecuted."

Steve Jessop, Nurse Director for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust says:

"The Trust has actively supported the development of a Community impact Statement in the interests of maintaining seamless and consistent healthcare services for patients and safeguarding both our front line staff and visitors.

"This Trust has operated a zero tolerance policy in respect in violence and aggression against staff and others on Trust premises for some time, and to reinforce this message we actively pursue offenders and attempt to gain sanctions and redress against them.

"Incidents of violence and anti-social behaviour at Hull Royal Infirmary are thankfully reducing but when they do occur and we are able to pursue individuals, the use of the CIS will help to show the true impact of their disruption on staff, patients and services, and hopefully secure more stringent punishments for offenders."