Assaults on NHS staff falling

The number of physical assaults on primary care NHS staff in England fell by 1,700 in 2006/7, official data show.

Data from the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service show that the total number of physical assaults on primary care staff fell to 3,445.

Across the NHS as a whole, there were 55,709 physical assaults against staff.

Health Minister Ann Keen said: ‘It is encouraging that violence against NHS staff has actually fallen for two years running - this shows that the approach we have taken is beginning to deal with the anti-social minority who assault and abuse NHS staff.’

However, RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘It’s encouraging to see the number of attacks on NHS staff falling, but it’s a sad fact that less than two per cent of all attacks on staff have resulted in criminal sanctions against the offender.

‘Violence against staff is simply unacceptable and the system has been failing victims of assault because too many attackers have gone without prosecution.’

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