Hundreds of Chesterfield Royal Hospital staff attacked by patients during pandemic

Shocking statistic have revealed that more than 400 Chesterfield Royal Hospital staff have been assaulted by their own patients while fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 3:35 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th March 2021, 3:40 pm

The majority of victims were women and many NHS staff who were attacked did not report the violent incidents they suffered.

The news comes out of the now-published results of the annual NHS staff survey, which was carried out in September 2019 through to November last year.

The time of the survey means many of the recent experiences reported by staff took place during the pandemic.

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The results are broken down by hospital trust. The Local Democracy Reporting Service took a look at the results for the Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Overall, of the staff who responded to the survey, one in five reported that they had experienced violence from patients and the relatives of patients and their carers within the past 12 months – 427 in total.

Of these staff, the vast majority (88 per cent) are women, with a total of 375 women working at the trust filling out the survey to report recent violent incidents they have faced from patients.

In addition, a further 17 incidents of violence reported by staff in the survey were carried out by their own colleagues and four from management.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

The survey shows that 40.4 of female hospital staff (who make up the vast majority of staff at the trust) who responded have felt unwell as a result of work-related stress in the past year, much of which will be in the pandemic.

This totals 708 female staff in the past year.

The level for men is lower at 34.4 per cent – totalling 110 male employees.

Meanwhile, figures show that 917 Chesterfield hospital staff had, within the last three months, square in the middle of the pandemic, come into work despite not feeling well enough to perform their duties.

A Chesterfield Royal Hospital spokesperson said: “Results from the NHS Staff Survey 2020 indicate that across the country staff are experiencing an increase in abusive and sometimes violent behaviours.

“Unsurprising, staff mental health has also suffered in the last year, with stress anxiety and burn-out a common factor.

“Commitment to patients and colleagues has also led people to attending work when ordinarily they might have stayed home – ensuring safe staffing levels and the support of those away from work due to Covid-19.

“Our ratings in the NHS Staff Survey show we are above national average in eight out of its ten themes and we demonstrate another year-on-year improvement in six of them.

“We are delving into the issue of ‘staff reporting violence against them by patients and the public, or by colleagues and managers’.

“It’s still an improved picture on last year’s score, but we need to understand what’s happening, what more we can do to stop it occurring, and how we support people when it does.

“We already know that some reported instances of ‘violence’ involve patients with medical conditions including delirium and dementia – who can become suddenly aggressive.

“We already have a training programme in place to help our staff care for those who through no fault of their own, have challenging behaviours.

“We encourage our staff to come forward, to report their experiences and to Speak-Up about how they are treated.”