Previous Article Next Article NHS violence at unhealthy levelOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Violence and aggressive actions against NHS staff working in acute, mentalhealth and ambulance trusts has increased by 13 per cent. A study by the National Audit Office reveals that around 95,500 incidents werereported in 2001-02 and only a fifth of trusts met the Department of Healthimprovement target of a 20 per cent reduction by April 2002. The audit office attributes part of the increase to better awareness of theneed to report incidents and the use of common definitions of what constitutesviolence and aggression. Elaine Way, president of the Association of Healthcare Human ResourceManagement, is not surprised by the findings. “Some members of the public seem to feel it is acceptable to take out theirfrustrations with the system on staff. This can never be acceptable,” shesaid. “Employers cannot tackle this alone – we need the support of society toreinforce the unacceptability of violence to NHS staff.” Many trusts consider that increased hospital activity and higher patientexpectations – particularly in relation to waiting times – have alsocontributed to a rise in the level of violence. There is little or no data on the financial impact of violence andaggression but, based on their estimates of the cost of work-related accidents,the audit office estimates that the direct cost is likely to be at least £69m ayear. This excludes staff replacement costs and the human costs, such as stress,low morale, lost productivity and high staff turnover. The report concludes that the NHS needs to do more to establish partnershipswith the local police, the Crown Prosecution Service, social services and themedia to ensure there is a clear and consistent approach to dealing withviolent individuals and incidents. By Ben Willmott Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.