Press release: Visitors’ abuse of maternity staff needs zero tolerance approach

Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has slammed reports of abuse towards maternity staff at the University Hospital Wishaw that has led to visiting restrictions, calling for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach. 

NHS Lanarkshire announced on Monday, August 8 that restrictions on visiting times and increased security measures were being put in place at the maternity unit in the wake of rising incidents of verbal abuse of staff.

The health board said in one shocking incident, staff were chased out of a ward by family members not willing to leave.

Scottish Labour and Cooperative representative, Monica Lennon MSP, said: “It is appalling that NHS Lanarkshire has had to increase security measures and resort to limiting visiting times at Wishaw General’s maternity unit in order to protect staff and families. 

“Staff being verbally abused and subjected to vile language as they care for new mums and babies is just disgusting.

“It is sad that the behaviour of some people has had such an impact on others. If you can’t visit a hospital and be respectful to staff and other families, it’s quite simple – don’t go.

“Restricting visiting due to staff abuse is an emergency measure, not a long-term solution. I will be asking the Scottish Government to assist NHS Lanarkshire to get to the root of these problems. Nothing short of a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and harassment will do.”