Two NHS staff attacked every hour in Scotland

An
average of two NHS staff are violently or verbally attacked in Scotland every
hour of the day, according to new research.

A
new pilot study by NHS Scotland Occupational Health and Safety also shows that
almost one in 10 hospital, ambulance and health-centre workers were subjected
to abuse last year.

A
landmark case saw a man banned from using any part of the NHS after he attacked
staff more than 40 times in five months.

The
rising trend of violence was described as "totally unacceptable" by
Scottish health minister Malcolm Chisholm.

The
Unison union has called on the Scottish Executive to introduce a six-point
action plan to deal with violence against staff, which calls for:


a joint charter from Scottish health minister and NHS unions, reminding the public
that it is not part of an NHS worker’s job to be physically or verbally abused
at work


standardised definitions, recording and processes to follow up violent and
potentially violent incidents, including verbal abuse, for all NHS staff


an agreed training course on managing violent or potentially violent incidents
for all NHS staff


the introduction of a ‘yellow and red card’ warning system to members of the
public who consistently abuse NHS staff, banning individuals from NHS premises
if they persistently abuse staff


relatives who physically abuse NHS staff to be automatically charged and
prosecuted


every NHS worker in Scotland to have a duty of care to themselves and to their
colleagues. They should report every incident and accept that zero tolerance is
not just the preferred option, but the only option.

By Michael Millar

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