March 24, 2012

NHS staff in mental health and ambulance trusts are at greatest risk of workplace violence, according to the staff themselves

The results of the 2011 NHS staff survey have been published this week. A total of 134,967 NHS staff completed the survey. The results suggest staff in mental health and ambulance trusts are at the greatest risk of workplace violence amongst all NHS staff.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 8% of NHS staff reported experiencing physical violence from patients, their relatives or other members of the public in the previous 12 months. This figure rises to 20% amongst ambulance staff, 12% amongst mental health staff
  • 15% of all staff report that they experienced bullying, harassment and abuse from patients, their relatives or other members of the public in the previous 12 months. This figure rises to 31% for ambulance staff, 17% amongst mental health staff
  • 1 in 4 incidents of physical violence and abuse go un-reported
  • Half of all incidents of "bullying, harassment or abuse" go un-reported
  • Only 57% of staff said they felt that their trust would take effective action if staff were physically attacked by patients, relatives or other members of the public

Percentage of staff saying they had experienced workplace violence from patients / service users, their relatives or other members of the public:

 

Physical Violence

Harassment, Bullying or Abuse

Overall

8%

15%

Acute

8%

14%

Ambulance

20%

31%

Commissioning PCT

1%

5%

Community Trust

4%

12%

General PCT

4%

11%

Mental Health

12%

17%

Social Enterprise

5%

12%

 

Source: BRIEFING NOTE: ISSUES HIGHLIGHTED BY THE 2011 NHS STAFF SURVEY IN ENGLAND