ATTACKS on nurses and hospital staff in South Warwickshire are on the rise.
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) told The Observer staff had been subjected to 392 incidents of violence, abuse or harassment at its hospitals in Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Shipston, or while working in the community.
Many cases of physical violence took place at the Leamington-based Central England Rehabilitation Unit (CERU), where patients are treated for brain injuries. The trust said because of the nature of the injuries, the outbursts of aggression were often out of character for patients.
There were also high reports of incidents at Warwick Hospital Accident and Emergency Department, and for staff in the community – where nurses can often work alone.
The number of attacks across the trust in the past year was up on the 375 incidents reported in the previous 12 months.
The trust say they are trying to ensure staff safety by providing training to help cope with challenging situations. They also say they are working with community staff to ensure they feel safe while working alone.
A SWFT spokeswoman said: “We take the safety of our staff and patients very seriously. We place a lot of emphasis on training to ensure staff can deal with any situations that arise to protect themselves and the patients they are caring for.
“This includes training for new staff and on-going refresher training for all staff, as well as specific training for staff in our A&E department and at the Central England Rehabilitation Unit.
“We also actively encourage our staff to report all incidents, regardless of the severity so we are able to monitor them and put in any necessary measures.”