Third of hospital staff did not report attacks
NEARLY a third of staff at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital have failed to report violent incidents over the last 12 months, a shock survey reveals.
Some 30% of employees who suffered physical attacks said neither they, nor their colleagues, had reported the last incident of violence they had experienced.
The growing threat of assaults was revealed as more than 13% of staff at the Belvedere Road hospital said they had experienced physical violence from patients, their relatives or other members of the public in 2017.
Responses to a NHS staff survey show that, nationally, 15.2% of staff experienced physical violence in the last 12 months. The figure was 15% in 2016.
According to the survey, 12% of staff at Burton Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust said they had experienced physical violence in 2017.
Moreover, 23% of staff said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse last year.
The news comes as one in six members of staff at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which has now formed a partnership with Burton, were assaulted last year.
The NHS staff survey revealed that 2% of staff at the trust had experienced physical violence.
Of those, 36% said neither they, nor their colleagues, had reported the last incident of any violence.
Some 46% of staff said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse last year.
A spokesman for the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton Trust said: “Our staff dedicate their lives to helping people and deserve to be treated with respect. We take allegations of assaults on staff members very seriously and encourage staff to report any violent or aggressive behaviour.”
The Violence Against Emergency Workers Bill is being considered by the House of Lords and includes proposals to make it a specific offence to physically assault health care staff and other emergency workers, with tougher sentences for people who carry out such attacks.
It comes after bodies such as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) lobbied to extend cover to all NHS staff, and to cover sexual assault as well as physical assault.
Kim Sunley, RCN national officer, said: “This bill is a significant step towards stamping out violence against nurses, and it is gratifying that MPs have recognised that wilful assaults and sexual violence against health care staff should attract severe punishment.
“We will keep the pressure up as the bill makes its way through the Lords.
“But this is not the final word on the matter. These attacks do not happen in a vacuum, and the RCN will continue to work with MPs to secure the best result for our members.
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