NHS conflict coaching gets off to slow start

Almost nine of out 10 frontline NHS employees still haven’t received any conflict resolution training even though almost half of the allotted time for the scheme to be implemented has already passed, Personnel Today has learned.

In April 2004, the Department of Health instructed the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS) to train 750,000 employees in techniques to calm potentially violent situations as well as recognising the triggers of violent behaviour.

All these staff are supposed to receive guidance by 2008, but so far only 85,000 have received any training, which is carried out by CFSMS trainers and other organisations that have been licensed by the body to carry out instruction.

A spokesman for the CFSMS said that the programme had got off to a slow start because it needed setting up from scratch.

“Every health authority has had to come back and report on their progress – we are happy that the targets will be achieved,” he said.

A survey of 217,000 NHS staff in March, by the Healthcare Commission, found that attacks on staff were still a serious problem in the sector, with one in four staff reporting they had been victims of violence.

The number of successful prosecutions against those attacking NHS staff has risen sharply in the past year. In 2004-05 there were 759 successful prosecutions, compared to 51 the previous year.

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