After a number of studies have been released that show that violence against NHS staff is getting worse, ITV’s Tonight Show launched a special investigation and report into the ‘disturbing and growing’ problem that is affecting the lives of NHS staff across England and Wales.
Research has shown that there has been a 15% increase in violence and aggression shown towards NHS workers across the NHS in GP surgeries, care homes, hospitals and more. The issue seems baffling to many as there is no reason to want to hurt the people that are trying to help and, in many cases, save lives. On average, there are 63 physical assaults against NHS workers that occur every single day.
In the ITV report, researchers have spoken to doctors who have been punched in the face and nurses who have been put into dangerous situations such as headlocks by aggressive patients and family members. One paramedic had to leave her job after a traumatic experience where she was assaulted while trying to perform CPR.
Sadly, the incidents of violence are not one-off occurrences, and many NHS staff live in fear of attacks, and some even leave their jobs because of it. Studies by the union, Unite, found that 75% of NHS staff were unhappy with how their NHS trust handled reports of abuse.
What support is available for NHS staff?
In light of the worrying statistics, several measures are being put forward to tackle the issue. The Department of Health has recently promised to create and deliver a Violence Reduction Strategy, while a new act, the Emergency Workers Act, has increased the sentences for those who assault emergency service staff.
“While these are definitely positive steps for NHS workers, it is clear more needs to be done to protect the NHS staff that work so hard to care for others and save lives. We welcome any report, study, NHS trust and government response that helps to protect the medical staff that do not need any further stress such as the threat of violence.” – John Davies, Director of Basis Training.
At Basis Training, we’re helping as many people as possible to have the tools, knowledge and confidence to hand to give them protection during an incident of aggression or violence. While we hope it never happens, we want to equip medical professionals with the training they need to diffuse, manage and control situations of violence and aggression.