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Health workers increasingly assaulted

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

New figures have revealed a worrying increase in health workers being assaulted by patients with 2012/13 seeing over 2,000 instances of assault in the West Midlands alone.  The figures have been described as “concerning” by the Royal College of Nursing, saying that the protection of staff is in the hands of the employer and that they “must do more”.

NHS Protect uncovered the figures earlier this week, which show an increase from 2011/12 figures. Only 1,900 patient assaults on health workers were recorded in 2011/12, in comparison to the figure reaching over 2,000 in the current system.  NHS Protect works to safeguard the NHS, identifying and dealing with crime across the health service.  Assaults on staff reached the highest level in 8 years during the last year, with 60,000 assaults being recorded.  Many of these cases were “medically related”, which includes the likes of patients hitting staff after waking from anaesthetic or elderly patients lashing out who suffer from dementia.

West Midlands NHS assaults over the last year:

  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust: 1, 192
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service: 167
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust: 198
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust: 147
  • Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership: 232

Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said: “We are concerned that frontline staff might be at greater risk because of additional pressures on services, leading to growing frustrations from some patients.

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