Third of hos­pi­tal staff did not re­port at­tacks

Burton Mail - - News - By HELEN KREFT helen.kreft@reach­plc.com @he­len_kreft

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.

“Im­proved staffing lev­els, prop­erly funded ser­vices, and bet­ter sup­port from em­ploy­ers would help fur­ther mit­i­gate the risk that too many health care staff run day in, day out.” *Dis­count vs price from month 19. All prices, BT TV and BT Sport con­tent sub­ject to change at any time dur­ing the con­tract. Su­per­fast Fi­bre: 91% cov­er­age across the UK. Av­er­age 36 or 50 Mbps: based on speed avail­able to at least 50% of cus­tomers at peak time (8-10pm). Your ac­tual speed will be de­pen­dent on your lo­ca­tion, phone line, home wiring, wi-fi con­nec­tion and time of day. Check your speed at BT.com/speed.

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