A new campaign is being launched by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust to tackle physical and verbal abuse towards NHS staff.
‘No Excuse For Abuse’ will see messages shared across the trust’s hospital and community sites that feature images of children of staff, with strap lines such as ‘My Mummy works here. #NoExcuseForAbuse’.
Figures from the trust reveal that between 2018 and 2022 there were more than 3,500 recorded incidents of aggression, including physical assault and verbal abuse, with the frequency of assaults increasing by more than 20% in that time.
In the first two months of this year, 111 incidents of violence and aggression have already been reported.
James Mawrey, Director of People and Deputy Chief Executive at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said:
We will never tolerate abusive behaviour of any sort towards our staff who work incredibly hard every single day to make a difference to the lives of so many people.
“The pandemic was an important reminder of how much people value the work of NHS staff, so it astonishes me that a small minority of people think it’s acceptable to treat our workers with such disrespect.
“We understand that at times patients might become frustrated, particularly whilst so many of our services are so busy, but please always show our staff the kindness and the respect they deserve.
“Our workers are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, who mean the world to their nearest and dearest, so please think about how you would want a member of your own family to be treated when they’re at work.
The trust is in the process of introducing a Violence and Aggression Reduction Group with a focus on keeping staff safe at work, reducing the number of violent or aggressive attacks, and increasing uptake in training programmes.
Damien Holden, Facilities Manager at iFM Bolton Ltd, who look after the trust’s estates and facilities, said:
Physical and verbal abuse and intimidating behaviour can have a long-lasting impact on individuals.
“Our new Violence and Aggression Reduction (VAR) working group will play a key role in reducing incidents, preventing incidents escalating and providing vital guidance and support to staff.
“Anyone can pledge their support to the campaign by using pledge #NoExcuseForAbuse on social media.