Most hospital assaults by the elderly
MOST physical assaults on hospital staff are not carried out by drunken youths, but by elderly, confused patients, according to hospital trust boss Stuart Bain.
Mr Bain, chief executive of the East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust, said the number of assaults was below average for an acute trust, but more sanctions had been taken against offenders than most.
The number of reported assaults has gone down.
According to NHS security management, in 2008-09, 88 assaults were reported. Mr Bain said this was a significant drop from 110 the previous year.
“We are prepared to support prosecutions,” he said. “A perpetrator was recently jailed after an incident in Margate, and we have formally excluded two patients for antisocial behaviour.
“Our specialist Lisa Sherratt works closely with the police to deter and punish violence in our hospitals.”
Encouraging staff to report any incidents, he said he hoped the action taken would demonstrate that the trust would support them.
“The majority of physical assaults are carried out by elderly, confused patients, mainly those suffering from dementia,” he added.