ANEURIN Bevan Health Board is to spend £120,000 on improving security at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny after a man tried to strangle a nurse to death in front of shocked patients.

Monmouth MP David Davies raised concerns on behalf of worried staff members following the incident at the hospital last September.

Royston Jones, aged 39 from Brynmawr, attacked his wife Claire in the intensive care unit where she worked. He was convicted of attempted murder at Newport Crown Court in February and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Mr Davies said the gravity of what happened had caused “real fear” amongst staff for their safety and urged the health board to look at introducing tighter security.

In a letter to Mr Davies, chief executive Judith Paget confirmed that a review had commenced to consider future security policy and delivery across the health board – with priority given to the Nevill Hall Hospital site.

Stage one of the review, which focussed on the physical security of the building, CCTV and access control systems, has been completed and £120,000 in funding has been secured to improve current security measures.

Work is already underway to implement these improvements, Ms Paget said.

“The next stage of the review, looking at the needs and potential requirements for a physical security presence on site, is nearing completion and it is anticipated that the findings from this will be shared with the executive team for consideration very shortly,” she added.

Mr Davies welcomed the review process, saying no NHS worker should have to do their job in fear of being physically assaulted.

“The health board has made it clear that the wellbeing of staff is of paramount importance and I am pleased to see action has been taken to provide a working environment where they can feel safe and protected,” he said.

“I have been in A&E on Friday and Saturday nights as a member of the public and witnessed examples of threatening and intimidating behaviour by patients. In London, it is normal for security staff to be employed at busy periods and I understand this is something being examined in our local hospitals.

“I will continue to monitor the situation over the coming months and call for further security measures or presence if needed.”

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