“Incidents of violence and aggression are a serious factor for healthcare workers.

“Incidents of violence and aggression are a serious factor for healthcare workers." - could body cameras help?

01/08/2019

This news piece was originally published here

More than 5000 NHS staff in Glasgow’s hospitals and health centres have been attacked in the past year while caring for patients, alarming figures show - the equivalent of 14 incidents a day.

Could Calla body cameras make a difference?

The highest number of assaults were physical attacks at the hands of patients with 2857 reported to NHS Greater and Clyde managers while 48 violent incidents were by someone else.

A further 1188 reports were threats of physical violence, while 13 NHS employees said they had suffered sexual harassment.

In some cases, the health police said police had to be called to protect staff, including nurses, domestics and porters.

Verbal attacks were the second more frequent form of abuse with 1070 incidents reported to managers and six employees disclosed allegations of sexual harassment.

In total, over the past 12 months 5,182 healthcare staff in Greater Glasgow and Clyde suffered physical or verbal abuse despite a concerted and ongoing campaign to combat aggression.

Th health board said the latest figures were evidence that “incidents of violence and aggression are a serious factor for healthcare workers."

Anne MacPherson, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, said: “Despite us introducing a range of measures to protect our staff we are unfortunately still seeing incidents of both physical and verbal abuse.

“In some instances staff have required support from Police Scotland because of the danger to their own and patients’ wellbeing, and that is unacceptable.

“As a Board we are committed to reducing and deterring such incidents as well as ensuring staff are trained to deal with situations when they do arise.

Kenneth Fleming, Head of Health and Safety, added: “We take any acts of physical or verbal abuse very seriously.

“Where staff are assaulted or abused while at work, whether in our hospitals or in the community, we fully support them and encourage them to pursue their abusers through the criminal justice system.”

Scottish Conservative Glasgow MSP Annie Wells said: “It’s completely unacceptable to attack an NHS worker – and that needs to be drilled into those consider this despicable action.

“Health staff dedicate their working lives to looking after others, the least they deserve is to be assaulted in the process.

“It’s essential that those found guilty of these attacks are dealt severe penalties to keep workers safe and deter others from doing the same.”

Calla body cameras have been shown to reduce aggression and violence in hospitals and are being used by a growing number of trusts across the UK.

Dr. Alex O’Neill-Kerr, Clinical Medical Director, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 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.”

Interested in trialling the body cameras in your Trust? Contact us today.

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