One in four healthcare assistants have considered quitting their job over the past 12 months due low staffing levels, insufficient training and workplace violence, according to a survey.
The Unison survey of 2,000 HCAs found 85% had seen or experienced verbal abuse at work in the last year, with 20% saying they have been exposed to physical violence.
In addition, 78% of respondents reported staffing levels had dropped over the past year and only 15% believed staffing was adequate in their clinical area.
Unison head of nursing Gail Adams said the survey illustrated the “sometimes grim reality” for HCAs and assistant practitioners whose “already challenging job is made harder by decreasing staffing levels and the threat of aggression and violence”.
More than 40% of survey respondents said they had considered leaving their profession either “fairly” or “very seriously” over the past year.
Ms Adams added: “When four in 10 HCAs are considering leaving the profession, something is very wrong. Investment needs to be made in training and development opportunities for HCAs.”
A third of respondents said they had not had an appraisal in the past year, while two thirds thought HCAs were given insufficient access to training to meet their potential.
The survey results were published to coincide with Unison’s annual HCAs conference in Liverpool this week.
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