Recent evidence demonstrates that violence against doctors has become a growing international concern.
President of the WMA (World Medical Association) Dr Xavier Deau comments: ‘We are hearing about increasing violence against doctors, ranging from verbal to physical attacks and even kidnapping and murder. Everyone has the right to work in a safe environment.’
‘Violence against doctors is particularly mindless as it impacts on the entire healthcare system including the care of patients.’ An incident of violence towards a doctor is likely to interrupt patient care for the remainder of the doctor’s working day, possibly longer.
It was called upon by the WMA three years ago to encourage healthcare institutions to develop zero tolerance policies towards workplace violence, something that has become ‘even more urgent today’, according to Dr Deau.
A similar policy towards workplace violence was adopted by the NHS in 1999. In recent years however, there have been notable increases in the number of recorded assaults on NHS staff. 2012 saw an increase of 9% in
Christmas is a time to relax and have fun but it can also be very busy and stressful. You may be out and about more than usual – for that essential Christmas shopping and to festive parties and other social events – and the last thing you need is to become a victim of crime.
To help avoid this, consider some of the following advice courtesy of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust:
Don’t get loaded down with too many bags. Try to keep one hand free.
Try and avoid taking young children into busy shopping areas. If it is unavoidable make sure they know what to do if they lose you, eg. Tell the nearest counter assistant that they are lost and NEVER leave a shop without you.
Agree a meeting point with older children in case you get separated.
Be careful where you park your car
New guidelines proposed for courts could mean fines of up to £10 million for the most serious health and safety offences and of more than £20 million for organisations convicted of corporate manslaughter.
The Sentencing Council’s consultation draft, issued today, includes guidance for all health and safety offences, not just those involving fatalities as previously, and links fines to corporate turnover as well as the seriousness of the offence.
Proposed guidelines include a range of tariffs for companies with differing annual turnover, modified by the seriousness of the offence and the level of organisational culpability.
For a corporate manslaughter example, a medium sized company with a turnover of between £10 million and £50 million could expect a fine with a “starting point” of £3 million for the most serious offence, ranging up to £7.5 million while the starting point for a less serious offence would be £2 million ranging up to £5 million. The current guidance sets a benchmark of fines up to £500,000.