July 25, 2016

57% of Assaults on NHS Staff from Over-75s

This week the BBC reported that a recent study by NHS Protect, which leads on work to identify and tackle crime accross the health service, discovered that patients aged over 75 years old were responsible for 57% of physical assaults on NHS staff between 2010 and 2015.

NHS Protect, says the stress and confusion of a hospital stay may explain the findings.

They told the BBC they looked at thousands of incidents, ranging from bites and pinches to the most serious attacks on medical staff.

The BBC observes that "according to figures from the Health and Social Care information Centre, in the same five-year period, people over 75 made up about 24% of patients being treated by hospital consultants at any one time. This suggests a disproportionate number of incidents on wards involved older people."

NHS Protect, says theirs is the most detailed ever review of violence directed at NHS workers.

They say the high proportion of reported physical assaults by elderly patients probably reflects the challenges of dealing with older people coping with the confusion of a hospital stay, compounded by conditions such as dementia.

David Dixon, from NHS Protect, told BBC Radio 5 live: "The next step is for individual trusts to study our findings and identify what lessons they can learn for their own particular contexts, about where best to place their resources.

"And we continue to ask staff never to accept assault as 'just part of the job'. Every physical assault should be reported, in the established way."

NHS Protect has developed guidance and other resources to help NHS staff prevent and manage challenging behaviour by focusing on minimising a patient's distress.

Maybo Training for the NHS

To meet the wider needs of NHS staff Maybo has created a series of healthcare programmes that provide safer, everyday practical skills for managing both conflict and clinically related challenging behaviour. These core programmes can be tailored to the needs of staff through the inclusion of elective modules covering:

  • Heightened Observation (Patients at risk)
  • Mental Health Crisis Skills
  • Learning Disability & Autism Awareness
  • Dementia Awareness
  • Supporting Children & Young People
  • Counter Terror Awareness
  • Post Incident Support & De-briefing

This tailored approach ensures staff receive the level of training they need in their role to be able to recognise, prevent and manage challenging behaviour, calm and defuse conflict situations and more effectively manage both clinical and malicious assault risks.

 

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-36829120