Published in January, the NHS Scotland staff survey revealed 18% of employees had experienced a violent incident in the last 12 months, although this was 10% fewer than in the last survey undertaken in 2006.
The Scottish staff survey was published several months before the annual UK staff survey by the Healthcare Commission of all 106,000 employees, which found staff-on-staff violence had doubled in the past year.
The Working Well Challenge Fund will make £1.5m available to help NHS Scotland boards improve staff wellbeing, such as ramping up training programmes to help staff react appropriately towards violence.
Shona Robison, the minister for public health in Scotland, said: “The commitment of this fund reinforces the message that violence against any healthcare worker is unacceptable.”
However, the fund will not be available to the rest of the UK. Instead, a Department of Health spokesman said the government will conduct a review into the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce.
“The review will look at the available evidence and best practice on what makes a healthy workplace and will consider the risks to the health and wellbeing of NHS staff arising from their lifestyle – diet and exercise being important to this – leading to recommendations for system-wide improvements by the end of 2009,” he said.