It was reported last week in the national press that the number of NHS staff suffering abuse whilst on duty has again risen in the past year.
Official figures released by NHS Protect, the hospital safety advisory body show that in 2015-16 there were 70,555 assaults on doctors, nurses and other health service workers. This works out at a shocking 193 workers on average being attacked every single day.
The number of attacks has increased by nearly a quarter over the past six years, with under 5% of these resulting in criminal or civil sanctions. Many of these attacks involve medical factors, with those hospitals caring mentally ill patients recording some of the highest numbers of physical assaults.
Some fear that these worrying statistics are just the tip of the iceberg, with many incidents going unreported as staff believe that no action will be taken.
Chris Cox, Director of Membership Relations at The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) described the atmosphere in some hospitals as a “tinderbox” with “longer waits and the pressures of understaffed units” creating an