NHS Worker Assaulted Every Ten MinutesMon 16 Nov, 2009
Telegraph.co.uk | Rebecca Smith
An NHS worker is assaulted every 10 minutes in England, official figures have revealed.
Almost 55,000 physical assaults on staff were reported in 2008/9 with all areas of the health service affected, the NHS Security Management Service said.
The majority of the assaults took place in mental health and learning disability services, followed by hospitals.
Unions called on managers to do more to protect their staff.
Compared with 2007/8 there was a drop of 1,235 attacks on staff but it is thought many are still unreported.
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: “It is completely unacceptable that at least 55,000 physical assaults on nurses and other NHS staff took place in the past year.
"The very slight decline may be a step in the right direction but too many employers are failing to invest in measures to prevent attacks on staff in the first place.
"Staff across the NHS deserve to have their safety taken seriously by their employers, the government and the criminal justice system.”
Dermid McCausland, Managing Director of the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service, said: "Many will welcome the reduction in reported assaults this year. But the NHS is not complacent.
"We have more work to do to let all NHS staff know they should not accept violence as part of their job. We continue to maintain our efforts to protect staff."