STAFF members at the Vale of Leven Hospital have suffered from more than 20 violent and aggressive incidents since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, employees at the hospital were victims of abuse twice, a further once in April and four times in May.

The number of incidents rose to six in June, eight in July and one so far this month.

Meanwhile, at the Dumbarton Joint Hospital, staff endured three violent incidents – one each in April, June, and July.

The NHS say its employees have been forced to tackle an upsurge in violence throughout lockdown with a total of 2,293 incidents reported across the country.

Anne MacPherson, of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “People behaving in a violent or aggressive way towards our staff or fellow patients can create a very frightening environment our staff as well as other patients, who are trying to receive, in some cases, life-saving treatment.

“Our staff come to work to help people, support patients and their families, deliver vital care and ultimately save lives. They should not have to worry about being subjected to violence whether physical or verbal abuse.

“There was a slight drop in incidents at the start of lockdown in April, but unfortunately they have been on the rise ever since.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly against Covid-19 since March, they should not have to face a further struggle with violent and aggressive members of the public.

“All we ask is that visitors, patients and service users are respectful to our staff when visiting our sites. They are there to help you and your loved ones, so please support them to continue to deliver the vital care our patients need.”