Rise in attacks on NHS staff 'completely unacceptable'

Rise in attacks on NHS staff 'completely unacceptable'


This news piece was originally posted here.

A rise of attacks on NHS staff in Sandwell is taking place, with health bosses declaring: ‘this is completely unacceptable’.

Staff at GP practices have suffered physical assaults, verbal abuse and intimidation from patients.

Four incidents are taking place each month across sites in Sandwell and West Birmingham, according to official figures.

Michelle Carolan, deputy chief officer for quality at NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is completely unacceptable that staff suffer violence and abuse from people they are trying to help.

“We can confirm that the current trend of violence and aggression incidents in GP practices in Sandwell and West Birmingham reflects an ongoing and long-standing national trend.

“Locally, a total of four incidents on average are reported per month, which can range from actual physical assaults on members of staff to verbal harassment or intimidating behaviour.

“We will continue to take strong action to protect NHS staff from suffering unacceptable violence or abuse by patients or relatives.”

The CCG said there had been a ‘low level trend’ since it started in 2013 but had noticed an ‘upturn’ in reports the following year. There are 96 GP practices under the authority of Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, which serves around 530,000 people.

Preet Gill, Birmingham Edgbaston MP, said the safety of doctors and nurses needed to be ensured.

Ms Gill, who is a former cabinet member for public health and protection at Sandwell Council, said: “None of our public service staff when carrying out their duty should be at risk or threat from any member of the public. Doctors work extremely hard to provide the best possible care.

Ms Carolan added: “In the event of serious physical and verbal abuse patients will be removed, without warning, from the practice list or the abuse may warrant a warning letter rather than immediate removal.

“Delivering an environment that is safe and secure for staff is essential to ensure that our GP Practices continue to offer the highest standards of care to our patients.”

Calla is the small camera that makes a big difference to NHS staff by deterring aggression and capturing evidence to support prosecutions.

Berrywood Psychiatric Hospital, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have published a paper that outlines positive feedback from using body cameras in an inpatient setting with the following testimonials from staff:

“I think it prevents lots of aggression and puts patients’ minds at ease knowing there is a record of what happened.”

“I have seen a few occasions where the incident had deescalated and believe this to have been helped by the camera being turned on.”

“I am fully in support of the technology being used permanently in the future."

 "I can see nothing but positives from it with recourse to its potential in reducing/ deescalating violent incidents.”

 “Initially sceptical, however can see that body worn cameras have had a positive impact on both patients and staff.”

Click here to see how Calla is making a difference to NHS staff


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