HOSPITAL staff and paramedics are being given advice and information on how to stay safe in the job.

November has been declared NHS Security Awareness Month as a part of a national campaign to tackle violence and aggression against staff.

Last year there were 100 reported physical assaults against ambulance trust staff with 28 of those prosecuted and more still in the court system.

However, there has been a rise in the number of physical assaults this year with 79 reported already between April and October. Fifteen of those have resulted in convictions.

Steve Elliker, local security management specialist, said the rise could be down to the fact staff are being encouraged to come forward and report any incidents.

"We do everything we can as a Trust, working with our staff, police and the Crown Prosecution Service to bring anyone who assaults our staff to court and to give out a clear message that this kind of behaviour simply will not be tolerated," he said.

Mr Elliker said he will be reminding staff of key safety and security issues through posters, leaflets and newsletters throughout November.

Meanwhile, at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and the Alexandra at Redditch, there were 100 incidents in the trust of staff being abused or assaulted, including 13 attacks which resulted in injuries to staff.

Paul Graham, local security management specialist for the trust, will be touring the hospitals talking to staff and patients about practical safety measures.