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Assaults on nurses increase

  • 7 Comments

There was an increase in physical assaults on NHS staff last year, with almost 57,000 incidents taking place, latest figures show.

Across England there were 56,718 assaults in 2009-10, a rise of 3.6 per cent from 54,758 the previous year, according to data from the NHS Security Management Service.

The majority of the attacks - 38,959 - were in the mental health and learning disability sector. Unison head of health Karen Jennings described the figures as an “absolute disgrace”.

  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • I can help minimize / prevent this alarming increase. The cost and value of investing in staff can pay major dividends to Health care facilities.

    The control and restraint training system provide health care staff with prevention strategies, physical and psychological self defence manoeuvres to respond individually or as a team in the management of aggression.

    The training system is structured with carefully designed modules that interlock to provide a total training system from de-escalation through to control and restraint techniques to manage aggressive and challenging behaviours.

    Please visit my website

    www.careconsultants.com.au

    training@careconsultants.com.au

    I will be in the UK January 2011

    Thanking you, regards Ken

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  • I was physically assaulted in 2008.
    The PCT provided NO support.
    I reported the incident to the police and the assailant was subsequently found guilty.
    My experience with management was beyond belief. When I spoke to the police who were exceptional was 'Normal reaction from hospitals PCTs'.
    The RCN were equally useless.
    I went to court alone unsupported.

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  • I agree with the above comment, the PCT and RCN are useless. I have suffered the last 12 years from an injury at work, which over the years has disabled me

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  • This story highlights an alarming increase on assaults against medical staff, and unfortunately it isn’t an isolated story, this is the tragic truth which is being repeated across the U.K. and which I have often posted.

    As cuts to NHS budgets and staffing take hold violence against staff is likely to increase, cuts will mean longer waiting times for treatment, adding to frustration of staff & service users combined with the influences of Alcohol/Drugs I can only envisage the annual statistics of assaults on Medical staff increasing. (Which it has every year, over 80,000 in England & Wales in the last year)?

    And yet many trusts don’t even have any conflict resolution training (which should be mandatory) or physical intervention/self defence training! If in carrying out a risk assessment, a risk has been identified and measures (training?) have not been implemented then that is an omission under section 37 of the Health & Safety at work act 1974 and could be in breach of other legislation such as The Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and Article 2(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998?

    Due to the financial climate all professions are having to take drastic measures to balance their books, but can the decision makers within the NHS trusts afford to continue to rely purely on security and police officers (who themselves are under pressure to make cutbacks) to protect THEIR staff?

    The benefits of providing appropriate and adequate training to their staff, would raise confidence, team spirit/morale, less stress/injuries = less staff off due to sickness, less costs, less litigation!
    Managers, directors should take stock, isn’t it time to put your house in order?????

    Dennis (husband of senior nurse)
    Director
    The Training Forum

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  • My partner was assaulted at work in a low stimulus area of a psychiatric intensive care ward on 29th Oct 2010; after a period of uncertainty as to whether he would survive the 'one punch' we are now 6 weeks later and he remains in rehab with the level of brain damage yet to be determined.
    The client was being cared for in the least restricted environment and the staffing level increased when his agitation did however the incident, in my opinion, could have been avoided if the clients dangerous and assaultative histories, especially towards females, had been considered; my partner was the only male 'available' on the entire 8 hour shift.
    As a RMN my concern is that the generally 'esteemed' recovery model is not a 'one size fits all'; what has happened to individualised care when a person with a dangerous assaultative history is treated exactly the same as a person whose intent is to only harm themselves.

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  • After receiving an email regarding my previous comment, I thought it best to clarify, my statement was not aimed purely to the ambulance services but to NHS Trusts (Acute and Primary Care)/Emergency Services in general. However as this was raised, I would like to comment further.
    Very recently we as a company where invited to display our services at a public Community Safety Day in London which had been organised by the Metropolitan Police. There were various organisations in attendance such as local government authorities, Armed Services, Police units, London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance service to name but a few.
    Through the course of the day we were approached regarding training, not only by the public but from members of staff from a few of the organisations I previously mentioned, the London Ambulance service being one.
    During their enquiries into our training it became apparent that many had not received Conflict Resolution Training (CRT) for several years, whether they had slipped through the net due to sickness or operational requirements I cannot comment. But on investigation we discovered that the percentage of staff attending training in CRT ranged from just over 50% upwards. Therefore in a large service those numbers could be in tens or even hundreds. So while it would appear the Ambulance Service nationally is complying with the NHS Security Management Service (SMS) policies/guidance on Conflict Resolution Training (which is commendable) unfortunately many staff are missing out on this essential training.
    My statement was to highlight the problem faced by NHS Trusts/Emergency services in general, from the enquiries we receive and factual evidence from NHS SMS statistics, including the Fire Service (over 8,000 reported assaults in the last year) and this problem is growing.
    And with so many employees suffering from stress or injuries due to verbal or physical assaults I see a greater need for employers to address this issue to give their staff any relevant training they need to protect themselves in the course of their work. For example, GP’s and practice Nurses can often work in isolation too.
    By undertaking a thorough Risk Assessment and Training Needs Analysis, this could range from a basic Conflict Resolution course to a Lone Worker and maybe a full breakaway and self defence course.
    Regards
    Dennis
    dennis@thetrainingforum.co.uk

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  • After receiving an email regarding my previous comment, I thought it best to clarify, my statement was not aimed purely to the ambulance services but to NHS Trusts (Acute and Primary Care)/Emergency Services in general. However as this was raised, I would like to comment further.
    Very recently we as a company where invited to display our services at a public Community Safety Day in London which had been organised by the Metropolitan Police. There were various organisations in attendance such as local government authorities, Armed Services, Police units, London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance service to name but a few.
    Through the course of the day we were approached regarding training, not only by the public but from members of staff from a few of the organisations I previously mentioned, the London Ambulance service being one.
    During their enquiries into our training it became apparent that many had not received Conflict Resolution Training (CRT) for several years, whether they had slipped through the net due to sickness or operational requirements I cannot comment. But on investigation we discovered that the percentage of staff attending training in CRT ranged from just over 50% upwards. Therefore in a large service those numbers could be in tens or even hundreds. So while it would appear the Ambulance Service nationally is complying with the NHS Security Management Service (SMS) policies/guidance on Conflict Resolution Training (which is commendable) unfortunately many staff are missing out on this essential training.
    My statement was to highlight the problem faced by NHS Trusts/Emergency services in general, from the enquiries we receive and factual evidence from NHS SMS statistics, including the Fire Service (over 8,000 reported assaults in the last year) and this problem is growing.
    And with so many employees suffering from stress or injuries due to verbal or physical assaults I see a greater need for employers to address this issue to give their staff any relevant training they need to protect themselves in the course of their work. For example, GP’s and practice Nurses can often work in isolation too.
    By undertaking a thorough Risk Assessment and Training Needs Analysis, this could range from a basic Conflict Resolution course to a Lone Worker and maybe a full breakaway and self defence course.
    Regards
    Dennis
    dennis@thetrainingforum.co.uk

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