Tougher action will be taken against people abusing NHS staff, health secretary Alan Johnson has promised.
Johnson told delegates at the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth that he would increase the number of prosecutions as part of a £97m boost to the NHS security budget.
He said that boosting the morale of workers was vital to the government’s aim of improving the health service through the unprecedented Next Stage Review.
“We know there is no more important resource for the NHS than the staff who work for it. But too many suffer harassment, intimidation and violence,” Johnson said.
He said the budget increase would pay for personal safety alarms for staff who needed them, and improved training in dealing with aggressive patients.
“This money will also allow us to increase the number of prosecutions against those who assault staff,” he added. “Anybody who abuses our staff must face tough action and the possibility of jail.”
Watch Alan Johnson’s speech below