Huge rise in number of assaults on Sheffield NHS hospital staff revealed

There were 1,358 assaults on staff within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals over the last five years
There were 1,358 assaults on staff within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals over the last five years
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NHS staff working at hospitals and out in the community in Sheffield have been assaulted more then 1,300 times, new figures show.

NHS staff working at hospitals and out in the community in Sheffield have been assaulted more then 1,300 times, new figures show.

The Hallamshire saw 258 reported assaults

The Hallamshire saw 258 reported assaults

A Freedom of Information request shows staff working within the Northern General, Royal Hallamshire, Weston Park Cancer Hospital, Jessops maternity wing, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital and out in the community, where assaulted 1,358 times between July 2012 to July 2017.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, the NHS trust which runs the sites, has seen a 36 per cent rise in assaults on staff in five years.

The Northern General has seen the bulk of reported assaults with 1,024 incidents - 75 per cent of the Trust total.

The Royal Hallamshire saw 258 assaults, Jessops 13, Weston Park nine and Charles Clifford Dental Hospital had just one recorded incident.

Jessop maternity wing saw 13 reported incidents where staff were assaulted

Jessop maternity wing saw 13 reported incidents where staff were assaulted

The Trust's community team had 54 reported assaults between 2012 and 2017.

Some 93 incidents were recorded as 'assault by another' making up seven per cent of all cases.

The Department of Health has previously said a 'new approach' is needed to defend staff from violence.

City NHS bosses said it had a 'zero tolerance approach' when dealing with staff members being assaulted but added the statistics also include where patients have not been deliberately violent.

The Northern General made up 75 per cent of all reported assaulted from 2012 across Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

The Northern General made up 75 per cent of all reported assaulted from 2012 across Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Unions have said assaults have left NHS staff needing time off and there is 'still much to do to prevent violent situations arising'.

Glenn Turp, regional director for the Royal College of Nursing in Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Throughout the NHS, violence and aggression can have a lasting impact with threats and assaults leading to traumatised staff needing time off, or leaving the profession altogether.

"This in turn exacerbates the situation with wards becoming still more short-staffed, affecting patient care. Assaults against staff cost the NHS more than £60 million per year which should be spent on attacking the factors that contribute to violence in the first place.

“Nurses and other NHS staff shouldn’t have to cope with the threat of violence and abuse at work. In some instances, longer waits where care is delayed and increased pressure, where staff try to cope under difficult circumstances, have led to patient and family frustration and aggression. Whilst many NHS trusts have worked hard to reduce the levels of assaults against staff, including taking action and sanctions against perpetrators, there is still much to do to prevent potentially violent situations arising”.

Weston Park saw nine assaults over the past five years

Weston Park saw nine assaults over the past five years

Professor Hilary Chapman, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have a zero tolerance approach to any verbal or physical abuse against our staff and take considerable precautions to limit the chances of our staff coming to harm.

"We do also report such assaults to the police for further action and prosecution. However, it should be stressed the figures included in this response also include a high proportion of incidents where patients have not been deliberately aggressive or violent. The incident has more often than not been as a result of their medical condition at the time.”