20 December 2023
The Health and Social Care Portfolio (H&SC) wishes to remind the public of its zero-tolerance policy on violence and aggression towards its staff. This means that any form of violence or aggression, no matter how minor, will not be tolerated.
Violence and aggression can have a devastating impact on staff. It can cause physical and psychological harm, as well as leading to low morale and increased stress. The zero-tolerance policy is in place to protect staff and make it easier to provide the best possible care to patients.
The strategy includes:
- working with the Police and Crown Prosecution Service to help victims give evidence and get prosecutions in the quickest and most efficient way
- improved training for staff to deal with violence, including circumstances involving patients with dementia or mental illness
- prompt mental health support for staff who have been victims of violence
In recent months there has been a sharp rise in cases where staff have been abused – often when people arrive at the premises under the influence of alcohol or agitated.
To understand the reasons behind the rise in reported abuse, staff are actively encouraged to record assaults and other incidents of abuse or harassment, and keep a record of the names of individuals who abused them. This will be provided to the Police as evidence for potential prosecution. This will also indicate which staff are most vulnerable to violence and allow for appropriate action to be taken.
People who are found to have been violent or aggressive towards our staff may face a number of consequences, including removal from the premises and possibly criminal charges.
The zero-tolerance approach aims to protect the workforce against deliberate violence and aggression from patients, their families and the public, and to ensure offenders are punished quickly and effectively.
Staff spend their working days caring and saving lives, and their safety should be paramount.
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