The Health and Safety Executive has warned an ambulance trust after it found measures had not been taken to assess the risk to crews from violence and aggression.

East of England Ambulance Service Trust was also given an improvement notice because its practices for handling patients were potentially unsafe. An HSE team investigated the trust in June and July and issued the notices - which must be complied with by law - last month.

The improvement notice stated that the trust: “Have not made a suitable or sufficient assessment of the risks to employees from violence and aggression. Neither have [they] taken adequate measures to control and mitigate the said risks.”

There were concerns that incidents of aggression were going unreported and the trust’s failure to implement a “zero tolerance” policy meant violence towards staff could be regarded as acceptable.

The HSE also found the lack of planning and monitoring for lifting and carrying patients was putting staff at risk of musculo-skeletal disorders.

HSE principal inspector Annette Hall said: “Both manual handling and violence are key risks in the health service, and while these are complex matters to manage, we believe the trust was not doing enough to protect its staff, and therefore we served the two notices.”

A spokesperson for the trust said the trust had an action plan to address the improvement notices.