It was reported earlier this week that assaults on NHS workers have increased by nearly 10% from 2016-17 – with nurses, paramedics and mental health staff most likely to be on the receiving end.
Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Health Service Journal on behalf of Unison, includes responses from 181 of the 244 NHS Trusts in England.
Figures show that there were 56,435 physical assaults recorded within this period, which if extrapolated across the NHS as a whole could potentially mean this figure is closer to 75,000 – as many as 200 a day.
Incidents include a nurse being slapped by a patient, one threatened with a knife and another witnessing a colleague being punched.
Staffing pressures have been cited as a contributing factor in the rise, with many blaming chronic understaffing and delays in patients accessing medical services.
Sara Gorton, Unison’s Head of Health stated, “Staff shortages are harming patient care and helping to create a hostile environment.”
“Now that there is no NHS or government organisation collecting data on assaults nationally