More than a quarter of NHS workers have been bullied, harassed or abused in the past year by patients and members of the public, a poll suggests.

Securicare trainingThe NHS staff survey for England, which included responses from 569,440 staff, found 29% had experienced at least one incident of bullying, harassment or abuse in the past 12 months.

It found about one in seven (15%) have been physically attacked, up slightly on the year before. A further four in 10 have felt unwell due to work-related stress. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has now written to all NHS staff, telling them “being assaulted or abused is not part of the job”. The letter said: “There is far too much violence against NHS staff, and too much acceptance that it’s part of the job.

The poll found that 9% of all NHS staff have also been harassed, bullied or abused by colleagues, and 12% by managers. Other findings from the 2019 poll showed that 40.3% of staff reported feeling unwell as a result of work-related stress, up from 39.8% the year before and 36.8% in 2016. Some 22.9% also said they had unrealistic time pressures, up from 20% the year before. Additionally, 37% of NHS staff who have frequent face-to-face meetings with patients or service users have experienced bullying, harassment or abuse from patients, their relatives or other members of the public. Despite this, more staff in 2019 reported being happy with the quality of care they can provide. A higher number also said they would recommend their place of work for treatment. There has also been a drop in the proportion of staff working extra unpaid hours in the past five years, although 55.9% still do so every week. 

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to enable individuals to deal with all facets of conflict, aggression and violence. These include ‘personal safety’, ‘conflict management’, ‘dealing with challenging behaviour’ as well as our physical skills ‘Train the Trainers’ pathway For more information and to discuss your unique needs: E: trainers@securicare.com or T: 01904 492442

For the full story visit The Guardian