Guest Column: We will never accept assaults on our emergency service workers

Sir Kevin Barron MP
Sir Kevin Barron MP

Last week, Parliament finally took strong action against assaults on emergency service workers.

I was alarmed by statistics which show that assaults on these workers have become more frequent in recent years.

The Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill seeks to strengthen the law in this area.

The Bill proposes to introduce new offences protecting emergency service workers, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors and nurses and people assisting them. 

Our emergency service workers do a brilliant job and their safety must be paramount.

I believe it is right that emergency service workers receive better legal protection and I therefore support this Bill.

I believe the tougher sentences in the Bill will send a message that we will never accept that our emergency service workers can be assaulted while doing their job and that we will do everything in our power to protect them.

Also this week, we had the awful revelation that 450,000 women did not receive invitations for breast cancer screenings.

These revelations will be terrifying for thousands of women across the country.

Anyone who has had a loved one taken by breast cancer, or indeed any cancer, will know of the great pain and anguish of that loss.

At a time when screening rates are already at their lowest level for a decade, ministers must make sure the NHS has the staff and resources it needs to put these mistakes right and reassure the public that NHS screening programmes are working effectively.

This problem has affected thousands of women over many years and Ministers must explain why this issue was allowed to go on for so long and why the problem wasn’t identified earlier.