Article

Violence reduction

The national SPF is focusing on work aimed at preventing and reducing violence against NHS staff.

7 September 2021

The 2020 NHS Staff Survey found that:

  • Almost one in seven (14.5 per cent) of all staff responding to the survey said they had experienced at least one incident of physical violence from patients, service users, their relatives or other members of the public in the last 12 months.
  • Staff within ambulance trusts continue to report far higher levels of violence - 33.4 per cent more than double the national average.
  • A similar picture is reported for staff experiencing bullying, harassment or abuse from patients, service users, their relatives or other members of the public over the past 12 months. The national average is 26.7 per cent, but almost double again for staff in ambulance trust at 46.7 per cent.
  • Reporting of violence overall at work has remained fairly static over the last five years at 72 per cent, although higher in mental health and learning disability and community trusts at 90 per cent. Reporting within the ambulance sector has risen to 72 per cent from 63.8 per cent in 2016.

The SPF set up the Violence Reduction Subgroup in 2019 to help prevent and reduce violence to our NHS people, creating a culture of safety to ensure our people are supported, safe and secure at work.