There have been more than 10,000 attacks on health staff in North Wales in the last five years.

Figures released by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) in a Freedom of Information request show that between 2012/13 and 2017/18 there have been a total of 10,153 recorded attacks on staff.

Police were called to violent incidents on staff members 815 times during the same period, last year saw officers called out 180 times to such incidents.

Bangor’s Ysbyty Gwynedd topped the table four out of five years for the number of attacks where the police had been called with officers being called to that hospital 54 times in 2015/16.

The board also employs security guards at its sites at a cost of £2,282,997 since 2012.

A spokesman for the health board said: “We take a zero tolerance approach to dealing with violence and aggression towards staff, patients and visitors at our sites.

“All three of our district general hospitals have dedicated security personnel on site and we provide specialist violence and aggression training to our staff which teach techniques designed to de-escalate situations where possible.

“We also employ a dedicated violence and aggression case manager whose role is to support staff, including seeking prosecutions where they wish to pursue this.”

Dr David Bailey, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Welsh Council said: “It is crucial that assaults on NHS staff are taken seriously as this sort of behavior is unacceptable and needs to be minimised whenever possible.

“The misuse of alcohol leads to serious problems in emergency departments and more needs to be done to reduce rates of alcohol abuse in the first place.

“We need to move away from only blaming patients and begin to think about ways of tackling other contributing factors that lead to assaults taking place.”

The board has succeeded on reducing attacks on mental health staff by having a dedicated team of specialist nurses helping to reduce the number of mental health staff in North Wales who are subjected to violence and aggression at work.

The board has seen a 12% reduction in the number of mental health staff who have been subjected to violence or aggression in the last three years.