Almost 150 NHS hospital staff were attacked at work on Wearside in the last year, new figures reveal.
The statistics, released by NHS Protect, showed that 145 physical assaults were reported on staff working for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust over the 2014-15 financial year.
Of those 145 assaults, 126 were said to involve medical factors. Six of the assaults resulted in some form of criminal sanctions. The trust currently employs 5,132 staff.
The figures also show there were 3,576 physical assaults against staff employed by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and 64 on employees North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Richard Hampton, Head of External Engagement and Services at NHS Protect, said : “No NHS staff should be physically assaulted and we encourage staff who are victims of violence to report it, so that appropriate action can be taken.
“While it is encouraging to see the total figure going in the right direction there is no room for complacency after this small reduction in reported assaults.
"We urge all health bodies, in all sectors, to take advantage of the joint working agreement with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
"They can build local arrangements on this national agreement to ensure criminal assaults are identified and do not go unpunished.”
Mr Hampton said better protect staff in NHS mental health settings would hopefully follow with the forthcoming launch of a new partnership involving NHS Protect, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Crown Prosecution Service .
He added: “It is designed to help the NHS, police and CPS work together to respond to incidents of crime, investigate and take appropriate cases forward for prosecution in this sector.”