Hospital staff ‘attacked and abused daily’

Hospital staff ‘attacked and abused daily’

Hospital staff ‘attacked and abused daily’

First published in News by , Health reporter

Hospital workers are facing physical attacks and verbal abuse from patients and relatives on a daily basis.

Frontline staff at the county’s three main hospital trusts have reported hundreds of incidents during a year-long period. These have included being kicked, punched and scratched, sworn at and threats made down the phone.

Some incidents involve people with mental health problems or who are confused. But others include people who have been drinking or are being aggressive for other reasons.

Confrontations are more likely to happen in busy accident and emergency departments, particularly at the weekends when more people are out and about drinking.

Unions say all incidents are unacceptable and hospitals need to make sure they are protecting their staff.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals workers reported 102 physical and 149 verbal incidents between April 2013 and March this year.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust had 58 verbal and 117 physical assaults, while East Sussex Healthcare had 135 verbal and 49 physical attacks.

All three trusts reported a drop in numbers compared with the year before. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals has managed to halve incidents during a two-year period.

It is now considering giving security teams video cameras to wear to record violent and threatening incidents following a successful two-week trial.

GMB organiser for Brighton and Hove Gary Palmer said: “It is unclear as to whether this [reduction] is a direct result of a change of attitude towards NHS staff or simply that staff aren’t reporting incidents.”

Janet Coverdale, Western Sussex Hospitals deputy director of facilities and estates,said: “We are working with our staff to make them as safe as possible and if someone is attacked or threatened we work closely with the police and prosecutors to secure the toughest possible sanction.”

Comments (3)

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7:32am Tue 12 Aug 14

hyram77 says...

The staff at these hospitals do an amazing job in saving peoples lives and don't deserve to be abused. I think a zero tolerance approach needs to be taken with grave consequences for anybody found guilty. Personal cameras are a great idea but probably expensive. Alternatively, a couple of big security guards trained in ninjitsu.
The staff at these hospitals do an amazing job in saving peoples lives and don't deserve to be abused. I think a zero tolerance approach needs to be taken with grave consequences for anybody found guilty. Personal cameras are a great idea but probably expensive. Alternatively, a couple of big security guards trained in ninjitsu. hyram77
  • Score: 16

8:03am Tue 12 Aug 14

Nosfaratu says...

Hospitals in the center of Towns always have these problems due to the ease of access. patients need to be isolated from relatives and Drunks or Druggies made to pay for treatment.

Alternatively the Government could rescind 24 hour drinking back to the old way. The British obviously cannot handle their alcohol.
Hospitals in the center of Towns always have these problems due to the ease of access. patients need to be isolated from relatives and Drunks or Druggies made to pay for treatment. Alternatively the Government could rescind 24 hour drinking back to the old way. The British obviously cannot handle their alcohol. Nosfaratu
  • Score: 12

9:26am Tue 12 Aug 14

stevo!! says...

Isn't part of the abuse derived from frustration on the part of the public who are simply trying to gain access to something that they've already paid for and to which they are entitled?

I do not condone in any way the violence that some are receiving from those turning up at A&E etc, but I can certainly understand the anger that arises during telephone calls.
Isn't part of the abuse derived from frustration on the part of the public who are simply trying to gain access to something that they've already paid for and to which they are entitled? I do not condone in any way the violence that some are receiving from those turning up at A&E etc, but I can certainly understand the anger that arises during telephone calls. stevo!!
  • Score: -30

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