Northern Ireland's Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has reaffirmed his view that attacks on healthcare staff are totally unacceptable.
The Minister outlined the measures introduced by his department in an effort to reduce the number of such attacks, and his intention to introduce two new pieces of legislation.
Speaking after taking questions in the Assembly yesterday, he said: "Any form of attack on healthcare staff is inexcusable and totally unacceptable. Our healthcare staff should not be subjected to verbal and physical abuse when they are trying to help others.
"Last June I launched a campaign to spell out clearly the message of zero tolerance. Since then each health and social care trust has put accountability arrangements in place for staff safety and a number of additional measures have been introduced. A publicity campaign has also been rolled out and over 12,000 personal alarms distributed.
"I will also be introducing a training strategy for trusts where staff can benefit from different levels of training from conflict management awareness training for all staff to restraining techniques for those staff who may require it."