Harassment, assault prompt decision of UK nurses wearing body cameras
Nurses across the UK have reported about 6,500 cases of sexual assault across the UK, but only 4% of those reported have resulted in charges or summons.
The prevention of harassment and rape following the increase in incidences of sexual violence in hospitals in the UK prompts the decision of providing nurses with body cameras, as reported by The Telegraph on Monday, citing plans by UK Health Secretary Steve Barclay.
According to the Telegraph, a government official has claimed that “the Health Secretary is committed to keeping NHS staff and patients safe. Using body cameras is one thing that could help and is an idea that seems warmly received by many frontline staff."
Last week, a report emerged highlighting that 6,500 reports of rape and sexual assault have been made across UK hospitals since 2019, and only 4% of those resulted in either charges or summons.
Heather Binning, founder of Women's Rights Network, alongside other campaigners, called the report results “truly appalling” and argued that hospitals have now become “almost a market for sexual offenders.”
In an Oxford hospital, nurses and medical staff have already begun wearing body cameras. According to reports, the Health Ministry anticipates that body-worn cameras and other similar measures would contribute to the prevention of offenses and raise the percentage of confirmed convictions from the current 4.1% rate for sexual assaults in hospitals.
UK nurses set to strike until Christmas: Union leader
In a related context, members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) would strike at the end of April and the beginning of May before holding a ballot on continuing the strike to the end of the year, union leader Pat Cullen said.
"If that ballot is successful it will mean further strike action right up until Christmas," Cullen told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg program.
Members of the union rejected a government pay offer on April 14 and immediately announced an escalation in strike action.
Hopes had been high that nurses in England would accept the 5% pay offer brokered by the RCN and the government in March. But after putting the offer to its members, the RCN said 54% turned it down.
RCN members will walk out for 48 hours from 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on April 30, with the action extended to staff in emergency departments, intensive care, and cancer care units for the first time.
The refusal is a setback for the government, which had hoped for an end to the crippling health sector strike that has seen thousands of operations and appointments canceled.