South Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish has welcomed falling levels of violence against staff at NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
Figures obtained under Freedom of Information show a year-on-year drop in the number of violent incidents with results for 2012/13 indicating that the trend is set to continue.
In 2009/10 there were 581 incidents of violence recorded in NHS Dumfries and Galloway. Figures for 2012/13 indicate that there were 168 incidents to early February.
Commenting on the figures, Ms Beamish said: “NHS workers deserve tremendous praise for the work they do providing care and support in what can be an extremely stressful environment. They should be able to go about their duties without fear of being victims of abuse.
“I am pleased that we have seen a continuing downward trend in the level of violence against NHS staff in Dumfries and Galloway. However, there is no room for complacency and it is vital that the NHS board continues to take steps to protect staff.
“Being in hospital can be a stressful experience for patients and their families but I would urge all people accessing health services to be patient and show respect towards NHS staff.”