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2,300 assaults on West Midlands NHS staff in a year

Sandwell | News | Published:

There have been more than 2,300 physical assaults on NHS staff in the West Midlands in the last year.

Nationally, there were 67,864 attacks throughout in 2014/15.

The figures have been released by NHS Protect and show that many of the attacks were the result of 'medical factors' – by people who did not know what they were doing due to illness, treatment or severe learning disability.

The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs New Cross, reported a total of 102 violent incidents.

Of those assaults, 77 were the result of medical factors and 25 were without.

There were 340 assaults at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, 306 with medical factors and 34 without.

Toby Lewis, chief executive said: "We actively encourage staff to report all incidents of physical assault so that we can put measures in place to address safety and security."

The Walsall Healthcare Trust had 155 assaults in total, 124 of which had medical factors and 31 without.

Mr Amir Khan, medical director, said: "We do not tolerate acts of violence and aggression towards our staff, who work extremely hard to deliver care in challenging circumstances, and we fully co-operate with West Midlands Police to ensure that staff who are victims of assaults are supported to progress with prosecutions, if they wish to do so."

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South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has a total of 638 assaults, 628 with medical factors, 10 without.

Head of communications, Martin Evans, said: "We often deal with very vulnerable and distressed people but importantly our de-escalation of violence training helps our staff defuse potentially violent or aggressive situations."

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership has a total of 260 assaults, all of which had medical factors.

Marsha Ingram, director of people and corporate development, said: "Whilst we recognise that some of our staff work in challenging environments, we do take any incidents of physical assault very seriously. Maintaining the health and wellbeing of our staff is paramount, and we continue to offer support and training to minimise risk."

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The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust suffered a total of 109 assaults, 82 of which included medical factors and 27 without. There were 252 assaults at the University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust, 77 with medical factors, 175 without.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust reported a total of 120, 48 with medical factors, 72 without. Rab McEwan, interim chief operating officer said: "NHS staff work hard to provide patients with the best possible service and we will support them and do our best to protect them from those who are violent and aggressive."

There were 325 assaults at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, all with medical factors.

A spokesman said: "We take all assaults on our staff, whether verbal or physical, really seriously and encourage staff to inform us whenever any instance like this occurs.

"We are also committed to working with the police to seek prosecution wherever appropriate."

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