AN A&E doctor was punched to the ground by a drunk man who then spat in the face of a police officer.

Police have arrested a man following the shocking incident at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton late last night.

Officers were called at about 10.30pm to reports that a heavily intoxicated man had punched a doctor to the floor.

Officers arrived and detained a 20-year-old man but as he was being arrested he spat into the face of a police officer.

He remains in custody on suspicion of assaulting emergency service workers.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cullimore said: "Attacking frontline workers who are carrying out their duties to keep the public safe is simply unacceptable.

"Our officers work extremely hard to protect the public through what has been a challenging time for everyone - and there is no excuse for this kind of behaviour.

"I am personally very grateful to our officers and NHS staff for the incredible work they carry out to look after local communities. 

"Any reports of assaults against emergency workers will be dealt with robustly."