Thirteen assaults on NHS Lanarkshire staff every week

NHS Lanarkshire  takes a zero tolerance approach to anyone who attacks its staff, either physically or verbally and encourages workers to report any incidents of aggression against them
NHS Lanarkshire takes a zero tolerance approach to anyone who attacks its staff, either physically or verbally and encourages workers to report any incidents of aggression against them

Staff at NHS Lanarkshire have been assaulted by patients on 1381 occasions in two years, resulting in 665 injuries.

Figures released under freedom of information laws revealed that there were 659 staff assaults by patients in the 2017-18 financial year – almost 13 every week.

However, this marks a reduction of eight per cent on the previous year when staff were assaulted on 722 occasions.

The number of physical injuries also fell from 344 in 2016-17 to 321 last year.

There were also five occasions during that two year period when staff were assaulted by someone other than a patient.

NHS Lanarkshire’s director of human resources, John White, said: “The reported assaults include actual assaults, attempted and threatened assaults.

“We take a zero tolerance approach against anyone who attacks any of our staff, either physically or verbally, as no one should be subjected to abuse at work.

“It is important to note that some patients who are admitted to hospital have complex conditions and challenging behaviours and we have mandatory training for appropriate staff to enable them to manage violent or potentially violent individuals.

“Part of our mandatory training for staff working in such areas, is to support them in seeking to understand the cause of the challenging behaviour, assess the possible causes and use strategies to diffuse and minimise a potential situation.

“We have a prevention and management of violence and aggression policy which encourages staff to report all incidents.

“Through training, staff are increasingly aware that recording all aggressive incidents on this system can facilitate improved control measures. Subsequently, reporting of aggressive incidents has increased.

“This increase in reporting of assaults will enable NHS Lanarkshire to form appropriate action plans, and direct resources to the most appropriate areas, to minimise the risk of assaults.”

Stephen Bark - Local Democracy Reporter