POLICE were called to the Royal Gwent Hospital nearly 250 times in just under two years.

The majority were made by staff following verbal abuse, assault, violence or disruption by patients or visitors while they were doing their job.

The information was received by the Argus following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Figures for January 2011 to November 2012 show police officers attended the Royal Gwent 238 times.

In the last two years, the Health Board, police and Crown Prosecution Service have worked together to achieve 31 prosecutions, ten formal cautions, one fixed penalty notice and one ASBO against patients and visitors who were violent or aggressive to Health Board staff.

81 of the calls from the Royal Gwent followed verbal abuse or disruption, 67 after physical abuse, assault or violence, 24 after aggressive outbursts and 20 followed inappropriate behaviour.

The overall figure is nearly four times as many as Nevill Hall, where officers attended 52 times in the year.

Other hospitals serving Gwent patients made less calls, 38 at St Cadoc's, 24 at County Hospital and Llanfrechfa, 28 at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr and 21 at Ty Sirhowy.

The rest of the list was made up of 15 calls from Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan, 9 from St Woolos and 3 from the Caerphilly Miners Hospital which has shut.

A spokesman for the Health Board said it works hard to prosecute offenders at its hospitals and this will continue to be the case.

"We fully accept that tensions often run high in high pressure hospital environments, but our hospital and security staff link closely with local police at all times," he said.

"Aneurin Bevan Health Board operates a zero tolerance policy towards any violent or aggressive behaviour and we will always work with the police to bring about successful prosecutions where this is appropriate."