‘Unacceptable’: Striking statistics show rise in violence faced by Teesside trust staff

Striking figures showed violent attacks on NHS workers rose sharply at a Teesside trust.

Statistics of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust revealed that 582 violent incidents were recorded between April 2021 and January 2022 – compared to 471 during the same period the previous year. Check-in methods have changed in 2020/21 – and more hospital services have been made available to the public in the past 12 months.

But trusted bosses have repeated their condemnation of the aggression against their workers. North Tees medical director Deepak Dwarakanath said: ‘Violence and aggression towards our staff is unacceptable. There are no circumstances in which aggressive language and physical aggression can ever be justified.

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“North Tees and Hartlepool trust have a zero tolerance approach to anyone who commits acts of violence in our hospitals.” Figures presented to the latest Stockton Adult Health and Social Care Select Committee presented a breakdown of the violent episodes staff are dealing with.

Assaults with a weapon rose from three to nine cases, while cases of unintentional physical abuse, assault or violence rose from 78 to 91 when the two years were compared. Racial abuse rose from nine to 13, with incidents of verbal abuse or disturbance also rising from 170 to 208.

North Tees and Hartlepool both have a 24/7 security team who can be called in for any disturbances – with trust officials believing the recent increase in violence towards staff was due to the fact that the sites became busier again. The trust has launched campaigns condemning the violence in recent years including videos and “It happened to me” – alongside Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire and North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).

NEAS’ Mark Cotton told advisers how he launched a campaign after his paramedics faced a spike in assaults during the pandemic. He said: “It’s really to help let our staff know that we’re here to support them if they face this type of abuse – and follow up on any incidents with the police to try to maintain that deterrence. .”

Cllr Alma Hellaoui told the regional health review committee on Friday that she was happy with the national push. She added: “There is no way anyone has to put up with such abuse.”

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