GBH on NHS

  1. Did anyone else watch the panorama documentary on Monday about the attacks on NHS staff by Pt's.

    Although shocking to us all it came as no surprise to myself that these incidents were on the increase, one staff member commented on why he no longer reports all incidents because they never do anything about them.
    My trust has a zero tolerance to abuse of any kind, what exactly does this mean - apparently nothing - a colleague was recently assaulted by a pt resulting in an head injury and permanent scar, an incident form was filled in, nothing happened.

    In the program a nurse who was assaulted took her case to the court and they threw it out saying it wasn't in the public interest
    The 2 cases that got to the courts each individual was fined 50 and given probation. :angryfire

    Zero tolerance should mean zero tolerance and offenders should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    The figures published are as they stated in the program only the tip of a very large iceberg as NHS don't report incidents.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   english_nurse
    well its the same old story really, nurses appear to be the disposable commodities of a dying organisation which we all know as the NHS.
    I was assualted last year at work, split lip and a loose front tooth, and no one gave a stuff about it, a week later a patient hit me round the back of the head, both were under the influence of drink at the time, the ward was under terrible strain, with our patient load doubled but our staffing at its lowest over, it took an article in the paper (front page headlines) before the awful situation was resolved on there.
    It made me different about work for a while after i had been hit, i felt upset but i also didnt feel very happy about being a nurse, it has passed now, but my tooth still wobbles and hurts now and then to remind me about the assault.
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    I saw a little of the programme, forgot it was on. I was fortunate to work at a hospital which did have a zero tolerance and a few times saw the police called but then that was the end of it except the patient did get a warning and a mark permanent in their notes aware if they did it again they would have to find another hospital. Sad that it doesn't happen too often
  5. by   cariad
    over here they also are supposed to have zero tolerance, but the big difference is that they tie the patients down. i was appalled at first but now mostly agree with it. especially when you can get an aggressive verbally/physically abusive drug/drink influenced patient, and they literally, call in all the guys and security and go into the room and litersally hold them down while they tie them to the bed, they then have a sitter, usually a cna who doesnt let them out of their sight.
    of course theres specific rules and regular checks to make sure that the patient is not being hurt by it all, but it certainly protects the person trying to give medical care.
  6. by   parsonsjonny
    Hi there,

    New to forum. Didn't see programme but thought I'd air my views for you. I work at QMC in Nottingham UK: Emergency Dept where the potential for violence is a daily occurence. We have a weapons bin in our main waiting area for the disposal of knives, sharp implements etc (kids can frequently be seen using this as a climbing frame!) Nights are a particular worry, mostly because of alcohol fuelled individuals with mostly empty threats, however no chances should be taken and to give one example: some mad guy claimed he had a gun over the xmas period, hand in jacket that kind of thing. Obiously the police were covertly called while some of us talked this guy down a bit, then a four man armed response unit appeared from nowhere and dealt with the situation; fortunately he was unarmed but as I say - no chances.

    If you have a good health & safety representative/team in your area as we do, then any traumatic incident can be addressed and any support should be given, which in my view you are entitled to. In my case, I received some support from my nurse in charge at the time and then a follow up letter explaining what action had been taken against the lunatic (who was not even a patient by the way!) and inviting me to a further counselling session should I require it.

    If you do not have this kind of support available and are concerned for yourself and colleauges then I would suggest contacting your occupational health department BY LETTER, very important, to write as they will have to act, if you just talk to them, little will be done. Also copy the letter to your line manager, and director of nursing as you see fit, right up to the cheif exec if needed because its your personal safety at stake and they are accountable for the prevention of these events as well as following them up.

    Remember - you cannot be disciplined or sacked for this, they are responsible; besides they need you, very expensive to recruit and train up a nurse in the current NHS climate

    Regards

    Jonny.
  7. by   bettyboop
    like you English nurse i have been physically assaulted many times in particular medical wards usually by an elderly pt, the worst was a 92 yr old very frail lady who smashed 4 of my bottom teeth unfortunately what can you do this lady was confused, septic etc at the time, did fill the usual incident forms in etc The sad thing was the the pt recovered and was back to baseline a few days later and insisted i left the pig who had hurt me (she assumed it was my DH) i never told her it was her but another pt informed her she had done it, this poor women was mortified and very upset. This is why in my future assault incidents i never could take it further, but sadly left the unit because of the increasing number of pt on staff assaults.
  8. by   cariad
    we filled in an incident form a few years ago when my daughter was injured at the nurses home she was staying in. the builders were doing major renovations, and basically neither they nor the cleaners employed to clean the place cleaned up after them. not that i thought that it was the cleaners job. but dd slipped on the mess that was left, broke her arm, tore all the ligaments in her foot, and hurt her back, which she still suffers with. needless to say, the blame was laid on the builders not the nhs who had employed them, and the incident form was never seen again.
    so i personally lost all faith in the nhs for any support when it was needed, they seem to think that its only ever about claiming something from them. not that you are looking for support where its needed.
  9. by   english_nurse
    we have just changed to email reporting of incidents, its supposed to ensure they arrive at the right place
    i photocopy everything i send in relation to reporting an incident
    cariad, doesnt an accident at work resulting in time off need to be reported to health and safety? i cant remember ??
  10. by   cariad
    english nurse, she didnt just have to take 1 year to recover, she was immediately dropped from the course, as they knew that she would have to have more than the allowed sick time from work, she could have rejoined at the stage that she had stopped, but by then didnt have the inclination to go back, and she really didnt think that her back would stand up to even the college time where she would have to sit for a any length of time.
    when her solicitor contacted the hospital, they couldnt find the incident report and all the cleaners who could state that the builders hadnt cleaned up had all mysteriously left the trust and couldnt be contacted.
  11. by   cariad
    p.s., she was a student nurse and had done just over 1 year.
  12. by   english_nurse
    sounds about right, cover their own bums at the detriment to the staff!!!

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