Violent patients are costing the NHS £100m a year

Attacks on NHS staff have been estimated to cost the NHS £100m a year, according to a BBC Panorama programme to air this evening (26 February).

Panorama contacted health authorities across the UK and assessed how much was spent on implementing security and ensuring staff safety. The calculations also took in to consideration the absenteeism as a result of violence and the cost of pursuing prosecution within the courts.

The Panorama reporter, Shelley Jofre, spent nine months at Heartlands in Birmingham and the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. She said: 'In a single week at Heartlands, for example, I heard about a nurse being punched in the chest, a doctor being punched in the head and another having a chair thrown at him.'

Panorama: GBH on the NHS can be seen on BBC one at 20:30 GMT on Monday 26 February.

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