The attacks on hospital personnel are rising to record levels


The hospital staff in Merseyside suffers an average of two attacks per day, according to exclusive numbers received by the Liverpool ECHO.

The new data show that 887 physical assaults were reported on employees at Merseyside Hospital Trusts in 2017/18, compared to 789 in 2016/17.

The figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that of the 887 reported abuses last year, 255 were at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals, 215 at the Wirral University Teaching Hospital and 120 at the Alder Hey Children's Hospital were.

Last year, a 25-year-old nurse from Wirral was attacked on national television by a patient with boiling water.

The psychiatric nurse, Christie, was featured in the Channel 4 documentary "24 Hours in A & E" and was treated for severe burns to the face, neck, and chest.

Later, she was taken to St. George's Hospital in southwest London, where she was given painkillers and morphine to control the pain.

Christie, who worked at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Kent, described the moment she was attacked and said, "We (her patient) had to take antipsychotic depot medication, and we had to hold her back and give her, and then she was obviously returned after being attacked. "

Christie's experience was similar to that of other health professionals – the hospital counselor's responses indicated that around two-thirds of the attacks were carried out by people who did not know what they were doing – or did not know they were wrong because of illnesses like severe ones Learning disabilities or mental illnesses.

Dr. Rob Harwood, chairman of the BMA Advisory Committee, also argued that it is important to put the attacks into a wider context.

He said, "While we hope that the recent jail sentences for people who attack emergency workers may help to reduce incidents, we also need to look at the wider environment and possible background for attacks.

"Alcohol is often a major factor, especially in emergency rooms, and more needs to be done outside of medical facilities to reduce alcohol abuse.

Similarly, attacks can often occur when treating weak, elderly dementia patients, or patients with severe mental health problems.

"Situations in which these patients are inappropriately hospitalized because of shortages of social care or mental health care deficits are likely to aggravate the risk of attack."

Liverpool's numbers reflect national trends, with recent figures suggesting that the attacks are now at record highs.

Throughout England, hospital personnel were attacked 23,009 times in 2017/18.

The data suggest that hospital staff in England was attacked 49% more frequently in 2017/18 than seven years ago, with 26 attacks per 1,000 employees, compared to 17 per 1,000 in 2010/11.

In response to the latest statistics, Dame Donna Kinnair, incumbent chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said: "It is extremely worrying that the number of attacks on hospital staff is steadily rising after a small reduction two years ago.

"The fact that attacks on employees have increased by 70% since 2010 shows that ministers, the NHS and individual employers have still not got this problem under control.

"Violence in the workplace for anyone working at the front line is unacceptable – as a nurse, I have seen and experienced situations in which I felt insecure or threatened."

Dr. Harwood agreed and said, "The BMA has long been concerned about the risk and impact of violence on NHS staff. These figures show a worrying surge in attacks against people who are doing everything to provide high-quality care to patients in a hospital under pressure.

"Violence against personnel is not only physically and mentally harmful to the targeted individuals, but can also be costly for an already-extensive NHS as hospitals and other providers are forced to pay for security services, investigations and health insurance coverage. It must be a crucial step to address this issue and to provide high quality support to those who are victims of physical abuse. "

NHS England did not respond to a request for comment.

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