Attacks on Scottish ­ambulance staff have soared by nearly 20 % in the past year - reaching an average of almost one a day.

Workers were subjected to 328 assaults in 2023, up 18% on the 277 attacks the previous year.

Of the 328 incidents this year, 21 staff were threatened with either a knife or bottle, while 140 were either punched, kicked or spat on.

There have also been 124 incidents this year of verbal abuse towards staff.

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Michael Dickson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We strongly condemn violence against our staff. They have the right to carry out their work helping patients and saving lives without fear of assault or abuse.

“Our staff are having to deal with incidents nearly every single day and that is totally unacceptable. No form of abuse will be tolerated and we will continue to work with Police Scotland to take action against perpetrators."

The majority of the assaults or abuse was in the West region with 176 this year. While in the East, there have been 123 incidents of physical or verbal abuse and in the North there have been 27 this year.