Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login



Assaults on NHS staff rise by 10%

Physical assaults on NHS staff in England increased by 10% last year, according to latest figures compiled by the health worker union Unison and the Health Service Journal.

The number of reported assaults went up from 51,447 in 2015–2016 to 56,435 in 2016–2017, the data revealed.

UNISON said the increase was higher in some trusts — especially those struggling with waiting lists and finances — compared with others.

Trusts that treated 90% or fewer of their patients within the government’s 18-week referral target for elective treatment had an average increase in reported assaults of 36%.

Assaults on staff working in trusts that were more than £20m in the red were up 23% on the previous year. This compares to an increase of 1.5% for trusts which had a surplus of more than £5m.

And assaults on staff working in mental health trusts rose to 33,820 in 2016/2017 — a 5% increase compared to the previous 12 months.

Sara Gorton, head of health at Unison, said: “It’s no accident that trusts where the pressures seem the most extreme have seen the steepest rise in the number of attacks.”

The data were compiled following Freedom of Information requests made to all 244 NHS trusts in England, of which 181 trusts responded.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204711

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

RPS publications

Pharmaceutical Press is the publishing division of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and is a leading provider of authoritative pharmaceutical information used throughout the world.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • NHS England signage

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.