DAUK in the press: rude and violent patients are bullying hospital staff

Nearly one in three staff working at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary or Calderdale Royal were bullied by patients or their relatives last year – and the problem is getting worse.

According to the NHS staff survey, 30.1% of staff at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust experienced at least one incident of harassment, bullying or abuse from a patient, relative or member of the public in 2019.

That’s the highest proportion since comparable records began in 2014 – when 26.3% of staff reported bullying and abuse. Staff also reported rising levels of abuse from their own colleagues with 19.1% of them reporting at least one incident last year, up from 18.6% in 2018.

It’s not just bullying that’s an increasing problem. One in six (16.8%) members of staff at the trust reported at least one incident of violence from patients, relatives or members of the public last year, up from 15.8% in 2018.

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, co-founder of Doctors’ Association UK and an intensive care doctor, said the figures were “extremely worrying”. She said: “The fact that this number is rising year on year should be a red flag to this government, especially at a time when the NHS is short of 100,000 frontline staff.

“Doctors have repeatedly told us they do not feel cared for by their workplaces, and that spiralling workloads are contributing to occupational stress and burnout.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote to NHS staff following the publication of the survey. He said: “There is far too much violence against NHS staff, and too much acceptance that it’s part of the job.

“We will not tolerate assaults, physical or verbal, against NHS colleagues ‒ staff or volunteers. You should not tolerate violence or abuse either.”

Excerpt from the Examiner Live by Claire Miller read the full article here: