Health board's staff suffer more than 5,000 physical and verbal assaults

25 July 2019, 14:43 | Updated: 25 July 2019, 14:45


Staff in Scotland's largest health board suffered more than 5,000 physical and verbal assaults in the last year, according to new figures.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health staff were subjected to 3,005 physical attacks at work during the last 12 months, in addition to 13 incidents of sexual harassment and six cases of staff being stalked.

There were 1,188 threats of violence made to NHS staff, between the end of May 2018 and May 31 2019, and a further 1,070 times where workers were verbally abused.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde condemned the "unacceptable" 5,182 instances of physical or verbal assaults and said there is a "concerted and ongoing campaign to combat aggression" towards staff.

Anne MacPherson, the health board's human resources director, said: "Despite us introducing a range of measures to protect our staff, we are unfortunately still seeing incidents of both physical and verbal abuse.

"In some instances staff have required support from Police Scotland because of the danger to their own and patients' wellbeing, and that is unacceptable.

"As a board, we are committed to reducing and deterring such incidents as well as ensuring staff are trained to deal with situations when they do arise.

"We must do all we can to protect our staff whilst delivering our services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our staff should be able to fulfil their duties without fear of assault or abuse."

Kenneth Fleming, head of health and safety, added: "NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has a proactive violence and aggression policy and also a standards of behaviour document, which states that our staff are entitled to work free of threats, assaults and intimidation.

"We take any acts of physical or verbal abuse very seriously.

"Where staff are assaulted or abused while at work, whether in our hospitals or in the community, we fully support them and encourage them to pursue their abusers through the criminal justice system."