1,707 NHS workers assaulted by patients with mental illness
MORE than 1,700 staff employed by a Notts mental health trust were physically or verbally assaulted in one year, new figures have shown.
Figures released by Nottinghamshire Healthcare under the Freedom of Information Act show 1,707 employees were assaulted between August 2011 and August 2012, in 1,031 reported incidents.
The figures, which were obtained by solicitors firm, Truth Legal, reveal that 203 incidents were serious enough to be reported to the police, and 51 incidents were reported to the Health and Safety Executive because the resulting injuries were so serious.
Solicitor Andrew Gray, of Truth Legal, said: "Being assaulted at work by people you care for is a most frightening experience, often leaving both physical and psychological injuries.
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"These figures look particularly high, even for an NHS trust that focuses on mental health and substance rehabilitation and provides healthcare services in 11 prisons."
The figures compared to 1,781 employees assaulted in 1,299 incidents over the same period in 2010-11.
Of those, 233 were referred to the police and 53 to the Health and Safety Executive.
The FOI request also shows 1,356 employees were threatened with violence in 1,031 incidents in 2011-12.
This was compared to 1,342 employees over 1,086 incidents the year before.
The trust employed an average of 8,647 members of staff during the period covered in 2011-12, compared to 7,154 staff on average in 2010-11.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare said it takes assaults on its staff very seriously.
The trust's chief executive, Professor Mike Cooke CBE, said: "Within our services we have been historically aware of violence and aggression towards our staff.
"We care for some of the country's most challenging and dangerous people at Rampton Hospital, although assaults do happen in other settings.
"Assaults on staff are not tolerated and, where appropriate, action is taken against the individuals involved.
"Trusts cannot maintain safe and dignified services without close personal supervision and unfortunately this sometimes results in staff incidents.
He added: "This financial year we have seen a reduction in instances of violence and aggression against staff, so the measures we are taking seem to be having an impact."