PARAMEDICS have started wearing body cameras in the West Midlands in a bid to prevent attacks on frontline staff.

And one paramedic has shared his disappointment that attacks have reached the point that he has to wear it.

The scheme is being introduced as NHS workers were still being attacked when attending emergency call-outs while they were risking their lives in the coronavirus pandemic.

It is hoped that staff will feel safer wearing the equipment, which they can turn on with the press of a button.

NHS England announced £1 million funding for body cams to be bought for staff, with 1,288 body worn cameras earmarked for staff in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has said cameras are now starting to be worn by their staff, with 10 operational hubs going live and the remainder to join the trial in the coming months.

WMAS paramedic Nicholas Old was one of those receiving the equipment.

He said: "Well what a development.

"The day has come for me to not only have a panic button but also now a body camera to help reduce violence and aggression.

"What has the world come to?"

Mr Old added a thumbs down and sad face emoji on his tweet.

A WMAS spokesman said: "The cameras do not record all of the time and instead are only switched on by the member of staff if a patient or the public become aggressive or abusive.

"Any recordings would allow a court to see the actions of an offender and hopefully allow for tougher sentences for those who think it is okay to assault our staff."

Data from the NHS in England showed that 3,569 ambulance staff reported being assaulted in 2020/21 – a 32 per cent rise from five years previously.

The trial was extended to the Midlands, after successful pilots in London and the North East.

The trials also showed that the cameras can assist in de-escalating situations where staff are faced with someone being aggressive towards them, the NHS said.

Prerana Issar, chief people officer for the NHS in England, added: “As well as reducing the number of incidents towards our staff, these cameras are a vital step towards ensuring our people feel safe too."