Tackling violence in the NHS
The problem is increasing and your help is needed to help combat it
- By: Simon Bennett
Staff, including medical students, working in the NHS go to work to care for others. They do not go to work to be victims of violence. No one has the right, whatever the circumstances, to abuse, intimidate, harass, or injure NHS staff and then expect the same staff to respond with their usual care and compassion. However, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of violent incidents against NHS staff. A survey of NHS trusts in England carried out in 1998–9 found that, on average, there were seven violent incidents recorded each month per 1000 staff. That is equivalent to approximately 65 000 violent incidents against NHS trust staff each year.
There is a significant cost arising from such violence. Some victims suffer physical or psychological pain or both. Confidence can be irrevocably dented, while stress levels rise. That is why the government and the NHS