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NHS trust says reducing violent incidents is still a priority despite 16 per cent fall
HEALTH bosses are being urged to take a stand against violence after new figures revealed a five per cent increase in assaults against NHS staff in the space of a year.
NHS Protect has released new figures showing the total number of reported assaults has risen from 59,744 in 2011-12 to 63,199 in 2012-13 – an increase of 5.8 per cent.
The report comprises figures from more than 340 health bodies up-and-down the country.
But closer to home the picture is slightly different – with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust recording a decline in the number of assaults against its staff.
In 2012-13 there were a total of 108 physical assaults on staff, down more than 16 per cent on the 2011-12 figure of 126.
The chief operating officer at Worcestershire Acute Trust, Stewart Messer, has said re-ducing incidents of aggression against staff is a priority. He said while the drop in assaults is pleasing, violent acts are still “too prevalent”.
The majority of incidents at the acute trust are recorded in A&E departments at Worcester and Redditch and the trust has already recruited extra security staff to further clamp down on the issue.
Earlier this year West Mercia Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and Worcestershire NHS organisations all signed up to a “groundbreaking” new ag-reement aimed at protecting hospital staff by strengthening the prosecution process and ensuring offenders are punished appropriately.
NHS Protect is urging other areas to follow suit among a raft of recommendations aimed at stamping out violence.
Richard Hampton, head of local support and development services, said: “NHS staff should expect to be able to provide care in a safe environment, free from violence and physical assault. “NHS Protect urges employers to take firm action in all cases of assault against NHS staff. We urge all NHS staff to report assault and acts of violence against them. “Employers must do all they can to support staff in preventing incidents and pursuing offenders.”