Portsmouth Queen Alexandra Hospital staff suffer 190 physical attacks from patients and public in 12 months

MORE than one in 10 hospital staff have said they were the victim of physical violence at work from patients and the public.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 9:48 am

The shocking figure comes from responses given by Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust staff to an annual survey.

Some 15.6 per cent of respondents at Queen Alexandra Hospital said they had been the personal victim of physical violence within 12 months.

The question asks about physical violence from patients, service users, their relatives or other members of the public. Around 69 per cent of staff said they went on to report the incident.

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Shannon-Leigh Williams, 25, of Greetham Street, Southsea, was jailed for 16 weeks.

The trust told The News today that it had records of 190 incidents of physical assaults against its workers from the public and patients in the year to March, down from 248 in the previous year.

It comes as Shannon-Leigh Williams, 25, of Greetham Street, Southsea, was yesterday jailed for 16 weeks after admitting a string of assaults against a nurse and security staff at the hospital.

But staff at the hospital have said they feel safe working at the city’s hospital. Results from the annual staff survey completed reveal a 9.4 score on safety in relation to violence.

This is slightly worse than the average but better than the worst result for an NHS organisation.

Nicole Cornelius director of workforce and organisational development at Portsmouth NHS Hospitals Trust which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital. Picture: Portsmouth NHS Hospitals Trust

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The score is based on 80.8 per cent of people saying they agree or strongly agree that they feel safe at work.

It comes after The News revealed in 2019 that QA Hospital had launched a campaign against abuse of its staff.

The campaign was launched in the wake of a doctor being punched in the face at A&E in front of a busy waiting room.

Around 26 per cent of respondents to the survey said they were the victim of harassment, bullying or abuse at work from patients or the public – with 42.9 per cent reporting it.

And 6.9 per cent of respondents said they experienced a form of discrimination from patients or other members of the public.

As previously reported, some 10 terminals were installed in the hospital so staff can immediately report any incident.

The simple system allows them to log physical or verbal abuse, as well as possible causes.

Nicole Cornelius, director of workforce, said: ‘Acts of violence, abuse or threatening behaviour towards our colleagues are simply not acceptable and we do not tolerate them.

‘Our staff should be able to come to work without fear, and we encourage our teams to report any incidents so that we can take appropriate action and make sure they get the support they need.’

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