Date: 26 May 2004|
UNISON condemns rise in NHS Assaults
health care union, UNISON today (Wednesday) condemned the rise in NHS assaults
outlined in the NHSScotland Occupational Health and Safety survey.
union called on the Executive to regularise reporting of incidents and broaden
protection for staff, Jim Devine, UNISON's Scottish Organiser (Health) said, "Whilst
we welcome this pilot study as a start, it shows that more needs to be done. We
now need to move on to ensure the standardisation throughout Scotland of the definition,
recording and follow up of violent and potentially violent incidents, including
verbal abuse, for all NHS staff.
"We also welcome the initiatives introduced
so far by the Health Minister and Executive, but urge them to take the further
step of extending the offence of assault - currently proposed for those who assault
emergency workers - to any one who assaults any public service worker.
is also important that people ensure - by moderating both their own behaviour
and that of others - that the staff who deliver their public services are not
physically or verbally abused at work UNISON has called on the Scottish Executive
to introduce UNISON's 6-point action plan to deal with violence against staff.
* The Scottish Health Minister and NHS trade unions jointly
issue a Staff Charter, reminding the public that it is not part of an NHS worker's
job to be physically or verbally abused at work.
* The standardisation
throughout Scotland of the definition, recording and follow up of violent and
potentially violent incidents, including verbal abuse, for all NHS staff.
An agreed training course on the management of violent or potentially violent
incidents for all NHS staff.
* The introduction of a 'yellow and red card'
warning system to members of the public who consistently abuse NHS staff. These
warnings could lead to the banning of individuals from NHS premises if they persistently
physically or verbally abuse staff.
* Relatives who physically abuse NHS
staff must be automatically charged and prosecuted by the Procurator Fiscal.
Every NHS worker in Scotland has a duty of care to her/himself and to her/his
colleagues, to use the reporting system for every incident, and accept and expect
that zero tolerance is not just the preferred but the only option.
For Further Information Please Contact: Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser
0845 355 0845(w) 07876 441239(m) Chris Bartter, Communications Officer, 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)