NURSING staff in Huddersfield are living on the front line.
Scores of them have become victims of violence over the past nine months, according to a new survey.
But hospital bosses in both Huddersfield and Halifax have pledged they will continue to work hard to offer the best possible protection for the staff.
Between April 1 and December 31 last year, there were 243 reports of violence or aggression against staff across the Calderdale and Huddersfield Trust.
These included verbal abuse and aggressive incidents as well as physical abuse.
The news followed a survey earlier this week which showed that four out of 10 nurses had become victims.
The findings of the RCN's Working Well survey came after the Department of Health announced that people who threaten or abuse NHS staff could face a fine of up to £1,000.
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the fines were being considered in a bid to send a clear message threats will not be tolerated.
The RCN said that nurses experienced more stress than the general working population, measured by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stress standards.
The survey revealed that more than a quarter (27%) of nurses said they had been physically attacked at work - almost half in the previous year.
Helen Thomson, director of nursing for the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, said: "We encourage our staff to report all incidents, however small, to their manager.
"Our work to tackle the problems of violence and aggression has been commended by an external validation team.
"To support our staff we run a mandatory conflict resolution course for all employees who come into contact with members of the public.
"To protect our employees, the accident and emergency department at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary is monitored by CCTV at all times.
"A night-time security guard is present on A&E reception and all night staff carry panic buzzers.
"Panic buttons are installed in strategic positions throughout the department."