‘Violent patient’ leaves north Down with reduced ambulance cover


An ambulance crew were confronted with a patient who lashed out at them and a verbally-abusive crowd when they attended a call, according to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS).

The service issued a statement on Saturday saying that the previous night in Bangor, its workers had responded to an emergency call following reports that a male patient had fallen.

It said the staff tried to treat the patient, but they “lashed out at both”.

It happened in Quay Street at around 8.30pm.

The statement adds: “The crew withdrew a very short distance to request support from the PSNI but were then subjected to serious verbal abuse by a number of others at the scene.

“The NIAS crew returned to treat the patient after the arrival of PSNI. After they were able to assess and treat the patient, they then brought him to Ulster Hospital Dundonald, accompanied by a PSNI officer.”

It added “the crew were unable to complete their shift as a direct result of this incident”.

An ambulance spokesman said whilst other ambulances were in the area, this incident led to reduced cover in north Down and Bangor for eight hours.

Michael Bloomfield, the service’s chief executive, said whilst the “violent patient and hostile crowd” did not leave the crew with lasting injuries, the stress of an incident sometimes stay with crews “much longer than the physical injury”.

Police arrested a-24-year-old man on suspicion of two counts of assault and for disorderly behaviour. He was released on bail pending further police enquiries.