Firm strategy and better data needed to tackle abuse of NHS staff, says UNISON

Ministers must put commitments into action to stop violent attacks

Responding to renewed government commitments to tackle violence against NHS staff today (Wednesday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“Tackling the shocking level of violence against health staff requires more than just warm words. Last year’s commitments to reduce harm to staff were welcome, but several months on we are still waiting for details of a comprehensive strategy.

“We’re not convinced that body-worn cameras are the answer to attacks on ambulance staff. More prosecutions would send out a message that abuse is not tolerated and increased NHS investment in staff would make attacks less likely.

“Understanding what works must start with comprehensive figures, rather than one question on a staff survey, to use as a baseline for recording abuse and measuring progress.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

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