Responding to the news that NHS Protect has been closed, UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “Assaults on NHS staff are growing. That’s why it’s so worrying that the body looking after them and prosecuting offenders – NHS Protect – has been closed, and its staff diverted to counter fraud and protect property.
“Stopping fraud is important, but it sends the wrong message to employees that the NHS values its buildings more than staff safety.
“It’s going to be harder to gauge the scale of assaults or to prevent them happening in the first place. The NHS must fill this gap as a matter of urgency to show employees’ it takes their safety seriously.”