The Health Department, the law enforcement agencies and the Health and safety Executive have been working together to reducing violence and aggression toward health workers in the NHS.
In 20th December 2012, the Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths said:
“Since 2009 the Welsh Government, NHS, Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been working together to reduce the risks of violence and aggression against health workers.”
Violent service users have been successfully prosecuted for assault on NHS staff.
“On December 31 2012, Geoffrey Russell Thomas, 56, of Uplands, Ystrad, was sentenced to 32 weeks’ imprisonment on New Year’s Eve after he threatened and assaulted staff at Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant,” the Cwm Taf LHB reports.
The Cwm Taf LHB is satisfied that violent people are being prosecuted for assaulting health care workers.
Dave Lewis, Cwm Taf Health Board’s violence and aggression case manager, said:
“I am delighted with the verdict. NHS staff should not have to contend with abuse or violence when carrying out their duties,” he said.
This is a clear message to NHS service users that staff are not there to be a garget of their violent behaviour.
“This sentence sends a welcome message that violence against NHS employees will not be tolerated and that those who indulge in unacceptable behaviour will face the consequences” he added.”
“Mrs Grifith warned that the new figures show Cwm Taf Health Board has successfully prosecuted 11 people for abusing or attacking NHS staff in the last 20 months,” the Cwm taf LHB reports.
“In addition, Cwm Taf Health Board has made 64 antisocial behaviour referrals to the Community Safety Partnerships and South Wales Police has issued a further five cautions and six penalty notices” Cwm Taf LHB reports.
Launching the campaign on 20 December 2012, Mrs Griffiths said:
“NHS staff should be able to go to work without fear of violence, abuse or harassment from patients or their relatives.”
“Violence against NHS staff will simply not be tolerated. We have seen a huge rise in successful prosecutions, which I hope sends a clear message that we have a zero tolerance approach in operation. I want those who think they can get away with attacks on NHS staff to know they will feel the full weight of the law.”
“The number of successful prosecutions against perpetrators of threatening, abusive or violent behaviour against NHS staff has risen markedly since 2008-9 when there were just eight such prosecutions.”
“A concerted effort by the police, the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service, has seen that figure rise to 387 over the course of the last 30 months, meaning the likelihood of a prosecution is now much more likely.”
On the 21 January 2013, Cwm Taf Health Board reported that:
“Matthew David Morgan, 28, of no fixed abode, admitted of attacking a staff by spraying him in the face with a can of deodorant.”
He was sentenced to serve a four months prison sentence at Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court on January 16, suspended for 12 months.
Dave Lewis, Cwm Taf Health Board’s violence and aggression case manager, said
“We take the issue of threatening and violent behaviour against our staff, or indeed other patients and visitors, very seriously.”
“We will pursue legal action against anyone who threatens or abuses our staff”, he added.
This case follows the successful prosecution of Geoffrey Russell Thomas.
Over the course of the last 20 months Cwm Taf Health Board has successfully prosecuted 11 people for abusive, aggressive or threatening behaviour towards NHS staff.
A Freedom of Information request reveals that the Cardiff and Vale NHS trust there has been a reduction of assault on their staff from 1788 assaults in 2007/08 to 874 in 2011/12.
The number of assault using a weapon rose by two since 2009/10 from 10 to eight.
Figures for 2007/08 were not available.
The number of successful convictions since 2009/10 rose by 76, the figures for 2011/12 showed. Figures for the period between the periods of 2007 to 2009 were not available. The Cardiff and Vale NHS trust publishes their FOI requests on their website, available to the public to have free access.
A request has been submitted to the Aneurin Bevan Health Board to obtain figures of assault, violence and aggression toward their trust.
The FOI requests the Aneurin Bevan Health Board provide:
- Detail logs of incidents during the last five years when Aneurin Bevan Health Board’s staff that have been assaulted whilst on duty?
- Details of the dates of the incidents?
- Details of the departments the assaults took place?
- Statistical data in details of the gender of the aggressors?
- Statistical data in details of the age of the aggressors?
- Details of how many of these assaults led to a successful prosecution?
The request is in process and the finding will be published when obtained.