NHS survey reveals extent of violence towards staff

One in five staff working at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust say they have experienced physical violence while at work.

A quarter of respondents also said they had experienced harassment or bullying.

More than 380 members of staff were questioned by the trust, which is responsible for the delivery of mental health services.

The trust said it provided training and support for staff to manage challenging behaviour.

'Challenging behaviour'

Ian Jerams, chief operating officer at the NHS Foundation which provides services in Rotherham, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire, said: "We have a zero tolerance policy to acts of violence."

He added: "These figures relate to our in-patient areas, where we are dealing with very challenging behaviour.

"We have absolute respect for our staff working in this area. We are working closely with the unions and staff representatives to address these issues and reduce the numbers of incidents."

The GMB Union's regional secretary, Tim Roach, said: "People should not have to go into work in fear that they are going to get physically abused or get bullied at work."

The survey asked staff if they had experienced physical violence at work from patients, service users, their relatives or other members of the public within the last 12 months.

Staff were also asked if they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse at work from patients, service users, their relatives or other members of the public in the same time frame.

The survey did not differentiate between instances of violence inflicted by members of the public or by members of staff.

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