VERBAL assaults against ambulance staff have risen more than 60 per cent compared with last year, while physical attacks have increased nearly a quarter in the region, a report says.

The figures are in a report by West Midlands Ambulance Service CEO Anthony Marsh to the service’s board of directors, which also says Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital have some of the highest numbers of ambulance-to-hospital handovers lasting an hour or more.

In April and May 2019, 80 physical assaults were reported against WMAS staff. Mr Marsh points out that this is 15 more than those months in 2018.

Over the same period, recorded verbal assaults rose from 102 to 165.

But Mr Marsh’s report adds that “security incidents” are down 21 per cent.

“This area includes incidents such as lost WMAS Trust property and theft of property – ID cards, equipment, ec – and criminal damage,” he writes.

“During the first two months of the 2019-20 financial year, 38 security incidents were recorded.

“For the same period for 2018-19 we documented 46, showing a decrease of eight for the same retrospective period.”

Mr Marsh’s report also compares handover times at 20 hospitals around the West Midlands.

Throughout April and May this year, the Worcestershire Royal Hospital saw 526 handovers lasting 60 minutes or more.

The Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, was second with 342, while the RSH and PRH were third and fourth with 256 and 225 respectively.

Mr Marsh warns: “These delays not only provide the patient on our ambulance stretchers waiting to be handed over to the hospital staff with a poor patient experience, but they cause serious issues for the public waiting in the community for an emergency response or urgent admission from our Trust.”

The directors of the West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust will discuss Mr Marsh’s report when they meet at their Dudley headquarters on Wednesday, June 26.