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Suspended sentence for woman who attacked hospital staff

Cwm Taf Health Board

A PATIENT who assaulted three emergency care workers at Prince Charles Hospital’s emergency care centre has been given a 14-day suspended prison sentence.

Felicity Winisworth, 37, from Little Free Street, in Brecon, was also ordered to pay compensation to her victims when she appeared before Merthyr Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on January 2.

She had been convicted in her absence of the assaults and a public order offence at a trial at Merthyr Magistrates’ Court on December 5.

The trial heard the attacks occurred as the three members of staff had been attempting to care for the 37-year-old woman when she attended the emergency care centre, in Merthyr Tydfil, on July 1.

Instead they were subjected to a torrent of foul and abusive language and a series of vicious and unprovoked attacks while they were trying to provide care for a patient.

Dave Lewis, Cwm Taf University Health Board’s violence and aggression case manager, said: “This incident caused a great deal of alarm and distress to members of the public and children who witnessed it – one of the assaults took place outside the children’s unit in full view of children and their parents.

“We take any act of abuse or violence towards our staff very seriously, whether it happens in a hospital; in a clinic or in a GP surgery. Our staff come to work to help others when they are sick and injured; they do not come to work to be verbally or physically abused.”

Between January 1 and November 30 last year, 22 people were prosecuted through the courts for abusive or aggressive behaviour towards NHS staff in the Cwm Taf area.

Cwm Taf University Health Board also submitted 103 anti-social behaviour referrals to Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil community safety partnerships as a result of abusive or aggressive behaviour.

In addition, 85 warning markers were placed on patients’ records to warn staff of the potential risk of violence from a patient. Patients were written to advising them of their unacceptable behaviour.

And 62 code of conduct letters were sent to patients, advising them of their unacceptable behaviour.

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