Hospital staff report fall in violence cases

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VIOLENCE against NHS staff at Doncaster’s hospitals has plunged in the last year.

A survey of staff at the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust reveals incidents of physical violence from patients, service users, or their relatives was down in 2010 compared with 2009.

Staff reported fewer incidents, with the total down from 72 in 2009 to 50 in 2010.

Peter Reading, interim chief executive, said: “We take staff safety very seriously and have a zero tolerance policy towards those who abuse our staff.

So I’m delighted that our efforts to make the workplace safer for staff are paying off.”

“Feedback like this is incredibly important in helping to improve working conditions for staff. This in turn has a knock-on effect in improving patient care.

“We will be discussing the survey results with staff and staff side organisations and seeking their views on the next steps - there is always more we can do.”

Worse news for the trust, which runs Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Mexborough Montagu Hospital, and Bassetlaw Hospital, is that almost a third of staff complain of feeling pressure to go into work when they feel unwell.

A total of 32 per cent complained about that, which compares with a national average for acute trusts of 26 per cent.

But staff job satisfaction had risen over 2009, and a below average number of employees were found to be suffering work-related stress in the last 12 months. The numbers of staff members experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public in the last 12 months was less than average too.

The survey was carried out in late 2010.

A total of 850 randomly-selected staff across the whole trust were invited to fill in the questionnaire anonymously.

The survey results were then analysed by an external independent company.

This year, 56.51 per cent of staff responded to the survey. This is a good response rate, compared the average response rate for acute trusts, which is 50 per cent.

In its summary of 38 key findings, the Care Quality Commission rated the Trust ‘above average’ in 13 areas.