Hospital attacks spur bosses to invest £250k in protection for staff and patients

Hospital attacks spur bosses to invest £250k in protection for staff and patients

09/02/2018

Hospital attacks spur bosses to invest £250k in protection for staff and patients

This news piece was first published here

Physical assaults on staff and patients at Wolverhampton NHS Trust rose by 133% in 2016/17, with more than 77 recorded attack during the year. There were also 165 counts of verbal abuse against staff as well as 5 counts against patients in the same time frame.

In response, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has spent £35k a month for the past 7 months in an attempt to get aggression back under control.

A spokesman for the trust explained “Violence against our staff is something we take extremely seriously and do not tolerate. We provide specialist conflict resolution training for all frontline staff.

“This focuses on approaches that are designed to de-escalate situations where possible. Staff are actively encouraged to report incidents and due to the increase in staff at the trust we have seen an increase in figures.”

This week, Ian Jenkins, chairman of Wolverhampton Lib Dems, said: “It’s a damning indictment that we need paid security in our hospitals to protect nurses from yobs.

“NHS staff are heroes and go above and beyond. Being attacked while they try to care for people is scandalous.

“People need to know that we won’t tolerate any threatening behaviour towards NHS staff.

“In the past these incidents they may have previously seen as ‘just part of the job’, that needs to end.”

Body cameras are an effective way to de-escalate situations before they become aggressive. Berrywood Psychiatric Hospital, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, have been using body cameras to protect staff by deterring and preventing attacks. The team have published a paper that outlines positive feedback from using body cameras in an inpatient setting.

Dr. Alex O’Neill-Kerr, Clinical Medical Director for theTrust, said “Improving patient and staff safety, coupled with improving the quality of care afforded are key priorities for us and we are always striving to find innovative ways to achieve those objectives. As this study has proven, body worn cameras could play an integral role in accomplishing those goals.”

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