Security boosted at New Cross Hospital after drug and booze-fuelled attacks
Round-the-clock security guards in place at A&E after staff attacked.
Security is being beefed up at New Cross Hospital's A&E department to protect staff from drug and booze-fuelled attacks.
Bosses have already ploughed an extra £100,000 into introducing around the clock security guards after incidents including staff having boiling hot tea thrown over them.
And the trust that runs the hospital is now considering paying for Police Community Support Officers for dedicated hospital patrols and possibly even supplying stab vests for some staff.
David Loughton CBE, chief executive of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said security had always been increased at A&E over weekends but now the threat of violence loomed throughout the week.
Mr Loughton said: "We, in the last three months of 2019, put another £100,000 of security into the A&E because we've now got to have a 24/7 presence.
"We can't have the situation that security guards are called from wherever in the hospital because we've had incidents of staff in reception having boiling hot tea thrown over them – and a number of other incidents.
"We used to up security on Friday and Saturday to deal with alcohol-related problems, but now on 10.30am on Monday, you can have someone under the influence of drugs kicking off and that's a new threat.
"I'm conducting a complete review on how we're going to go about this.
"Seeing people in security uniforms and stab-proof vests is not exactly a good thing for the hospital's image, but my first priority is to protect my staff and we will take any measures we have to irrespective of any downsides."
The chief executive said a group had been set up to look at security in the hospital – predominantly in A&E.
He added: "I've set up a group looking at security, particularly in the A&E, to look at what we can do – even involving West Midlands Police in teaching security guards soft restraints, even moving to the point potentially where we have PCSOs, paid by us, in the hospital."
Councillor Milkinder Jaspal, who sits on the Health Scrutiny Panel, said: "I'm really concerned and it's important the point over the issue of security.
"No member of staff should be put in a difficult position or have a hot drink thrown at them.
"They come to do a very difficult job in difficult departments and I'm pleased David is taking action."