5th Dec, 2016

Health staff face growing violence from patients

Evesham Editorial 18th Apr, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

HARD pressed health staff say they are facing increasing levels of physical violence from patients and members of the public.

The shock findings were revealed in a survey at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) which brought responses from 372 members of staff.

The survey showed an eight per cent increase in the number of physically violent cases, rising from 14 per cent in 2014 to 22 per cent in 2015.

It also highlighted a breakdown in communication between staff and senior management – with 28 per cent reporting good communication in 2014, dropping to 19 per cent in 2015.

Equal opportunities to career progression and promotion was another area of concern, declining from 90 per cent in 2014 to 80 per cent in 2015.

Staff satisfaction is an issue for WAHT which has been struggling to recruit – and retain – trained staff, prompting a nursing and midwifery report to the trust’s board to state: “If we do not attract and retain key clinical staff we will be unable to ensure safe and adequate staffing levels.”

A WAHT spokesperson said: “We recognise we have a great deal to do to improve how our staff feel about working at the trust.

“We are committed to make this a great place to work and have already started our work to improve – including regular feedback on what has changed as a result of staff feedback.

“Later this year we will be looking to involve the public in our staff engagement process and will be publicising full details of how people can get involved in due course.”

WAHT is also in the process of launching a ‘Listening into Action’ strategy – a nationally recognised technique for enabling organisations to change the way they work.