IMPROVING safety and security at Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust – which runs Andover and Winchester hospitals – will be the focus of this year’s Security Awareness Month (SAM) this month.

The trust’s local security management specialist, Philip Tarling, will be educating doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff about issues such as what to do if they are a victim of violence and what options are available to deal with the minority who choose to abuse NHS staff.

Philip Tarling said: “Many staff feel alienated when they are physically or verbally abused by patients or their relatives and consider it’s just part of the job. They feel there is nothing that can be done.

“Here at Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust we are working together during Security Awareness Month to raise awareness and advise our staff so they understand they don’t have to accept such behaviour.

“We want them to know there are alternatives such as private prosecution, civil action and ASBOs which can be taken out on those who threaten them.”