HOSPITAL staff have been punched, kicked and scratched during 120 attacks in the last year.
Figures released this week by NHS Protect showed a 25 per cent increase on the number of assaults recorded by Worcestershire Acute NHS Hospitals Trust workers across the county in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13 when there were 96 incidents.
Out of the 120 total attacks, 62 were recorded as intentional and 58 involved patients whose ability to understand their actions could have been affected by their medical conditions.
No criminal action was taken as a result of any of the incidents in the last two years.
Chief executive Penny Venables said where appropriate they encouraged staff to seek legal action but many chose not to.
“In the event of a serious assault the Trust would consider taking direct action against the offender. We also support our staff by providing training in the management of violence and aggression and will if required offer counselling services. “
She added they did not tolerate any physical or non-physical assaults against staff who were simply there to care for patients.
“The majority of the physical assaults made against our staff over the last year were made up of scratches, punches and kicks.
“NHS staff work hard to provide patients with the best possible service and we will support them and do our best to protect them from those who are violent and aggressive.”
Christina McAnea, Unison head of health, said the fact the number of attacks on NHS staff was rising should ring alarm bells.
“The cuts and pressure on the service have caused growing patient frustration but no staff should be assaulted or feel unsafe at work.
“The NHS must do its best to provide a safe working environment. Both employers and the police need to take these incidents seriously particularly in mental health premises where we expect full support and cooperation to guarantee the safety and security of staff.”