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Health staff in Herefordshire under attack
A FORMER police officer “handbagged” a surgeon-consultant and bit a security manager at Hereford County Hospital when a treatment meeting turned ugly, a court heard.
The attacks were among more than 200 acts of verbal or physical aggression against Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) staff over the past year.
Magistrates this week ordered Gail Howard-Taylor to pay £2,235 in fines and costs for assaults on surgeon-consultant Simon Weaver and hospital security manager Tristan Morgan.
The 59-year-old from Lower Eggleton had been found guilty after a trial on two counts of common assault.
The court heard on Monday how a meeting between Howard-Taylor and Mr Weaver over the treatment of her daughter – injured in a road accident – turned ugly.
Matt Dodson, prosecuting, said Mr Weaver ended the meeting when Howard-Taylor became “confrontational” and started gesticulating.
She grabbed the surgeon and swung her handbag at him as he started to leave.
Mr Morgan, the court heard, was bitten on the hand by Howard-Taylor when he intervened.
Simon Phillips, defending, said that Howard-Taylor, a former police officer, felt “shame” at what she had brought on herself.
After the case, Wye Valley NHS Trust confirmed there had been 245 acts of verbal or physical aggression against its staff recorded over the past year.
The Trust is now reviewing all areas where staff could be vulnerable to support a “zero tolerance” strategy, with staff trained in conflict resolution to help placate aggressive patients or visitors.