Glasgow & West Scotland

Attacks on NHS staff in Glasgow health board area stands at 3,600 cases

Hospital ward Image copyright GUSTOIMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

There were more than 3,600 cases of verbal or physical attacks on staff at Scotland's largest health board last year, new figures have shown.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said attacks were down more than 18% from the 4,400 incidents the previous year.

But the health board said it remained concerned at the unacceptably high number of incidents despite an ongoing campaign to reduce abuse of its staff.

The recorded abuse incidents are compiled annually every September.

Police involvement

Anne MacPherson, the health board's director of human resources, said: "Despite us introducing a range of measures to protect our staff we are unfortunately still seeing incidents of both physical and verbal abuse.

"In some instances staff have required support from Police Scotland because of the danger to their own and patients' wellbeing, and that is unacceptable.

"As a board we are committed to reducing and deterring such incidents as well as ensuring staff are trained to deal with situations when they do arise."

The latest figures have been released ahead of a meeting by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's (GGC) Violence Reduction Group on Thursday.

The health board hopes that by highlighting the problem, it can reduce and deter future incidents.

Kenneth Fleming, head of health and safety, said those who abused staff would be pursued through the courts.

"NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has a proactive Violence and Aggression Policy and also a Standards of Behaviour document, which states that our staff are entitled to work free of threats, assaults and intimidation," he said.

"We take any act of physical or verbal abuse very seriously.

"Where staff are assaulted or abused while at work, whether in our hospitals or in the community, we fully support them and encourage them to pursue their abusers through the criminal justice system."

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