Assaults against NHS staff rise

The number of physical assaults against NHS staff rose to 55,993 in 2007/8, figures released by the NHS Security Management Service (SMS) show.

The total rose only slightly from the previous year, by 284. But the number of sanctions taken against people who commit assault against NHS staff rose sharply. Action was taken against a total of 992 people for assaults on NHS staff in 2007/8, up 123 from the previous year, and up hugely from the total of 51 recorded in 2002/3.

The SMS said that the introduction of local security management specialists by 90 per cent of PCTs had helped boost rates of reporting of violence.

Managing Director of the NHS CFSMS, Dermid McCausland, said: ‘We firmly believe this rise demonstrates a shift in culture among staff who are saying they will not accept violence as part of the job and are demonstrating this by reporting rather than an actual increase in assaults.’
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