NHS staff in Scotland's largest health board have seen an increase in violent and aggressive incidents since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Throughout the lockdown period, staff in Glasgow have been forced to tackle an upsurge in violence against them while working tirelessly during the pandemic.

The increase in incidents has resulted in more security being required at sites.

A total of 2293 incidents were reported between March 1 and August 5, with Leverndale Hospital recording the highest number of reports at 352 overall.

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Dr Scott Davidson, NHSGGC’s Deputy Medical Director – Acute services, said: “COVID has brought a huge challenge for our clinical teams.

"The virus has created significant new pressures; emotional pressure when supporting patients who cannot have visitors and see their families when they are desperately ill, combined with the physical pressure of carrying out their role.

“Our focus now has to be preparing for winter, ensuring we are equipped for any potential resurgence of COVID and enabling our teams to rest and recuperate. Our staff shouldn’t have to worry about being subjected to violence as well."

Staff are now asking Scots to remain respectful towards workers.

Dr Davidson added: “Fortunately, of the hundreds of thousands of people who come through our doors every year, the majority treat our staff with the respect they deserve, and we thank them for that.

"We would simply like the minority who behave in an aggressive or violent way to try and do the same.”

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NHSGGC’s Director of Human Resources, Anne MacPherson said:  “Our staff come to work to help people, support patients and their families, deliver vital care and ultimately save lives. They should not have to worry about being subjected to violence whether physical or verbal abuse.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly against COVID since March, they should not have to face a further struggle with violent and aggressive members of the public.

“We want to provide a safe workplace for all of our people, but we need the public’s help. All we ask is that visitors and patients and service users are respectful to our staff when you are visiting our sites.

"They are there to help you and your loved ones, so please support them to continue to deliver the vital care our patients need.”