Increase in incidents of aggression towards hospital staff

First published in News

BETTER reporting is the reason for more recorded incidents of aggression towards emergency department staff, Salisbury District Hospital bosses claim.

Figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request show that security staff were called to the department on 46 occasions last year, compared with 22 times in 2011/2012 and eight times in 2010/2011. Police had to attend seven of the 46 incidents, the figures show.

Physical abuse of staff by patients, or someone accompanying a patient, went up from six incidents in 2010/2011 to 15 last year, while over the same period, incidents of verbal abuse increased from 16 to 29.

Hospital spokesman Patrick Butler said: “The trust encourages the reporting of all incidents involving verbal abuse, aggression or physical assault on staff and has improved its systems and raised the profile of the importance of reporting. This has resulted in an increase in the number of reported instances involving accident and emergency staff between 2009 and 2013.”

He said the figures needed to seen in the context of 43,000 visits to the accident and emergency department last year They also included incidents of aggression from patients who were not responsible for their actions because of their medical conditions.

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