Workforce violence and abuse in a healthcare setting

New NHS workforce strategy on protecting staff from violence and abuse launches in Sussex

Health professionals in South East England are set to benefit from better protection from workplace violence and abuse as Sussex Health and Care Integrated Care System launches a new workforce strategy.

The strategy represents as a “proactive approach” to curb the violence and abuse some healthcare professionals are subjected to, according to Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

Understanding why instances of such behaviour occur in the first place has been earmarked as the way forward, with the trust wanting to prevent incidents from happening, rather than just responding to them.

The new strategy details several key areas in which it will help stop violence and abuse, including:

  • Implementing the NHS violence prevention and reduction standard;
  • Each partner organisation in the area developing action plans that work towards local needs;
  • Allowing organisations to glean better insight into the challenges posed by violence and abuse by collecting and analysing data;
  • Understanding the root causes of violence, what increases its likelihood and how to stop it.

Chief People Officer at NHS Sussex, Mark Smith, said: “The growing demand for NHS, and other health and care services, and how these services are delivered, is changing. Key to delivering these services are our people, who make-up a workforce that is under pressure, and that is, unfortunately, sometimes the victim of violence or abuse.

“We know the significant impact abuse, harassment, and violence has on individuals, teams, organisations, and the whole of the health and care sector, and we are clear that no-one should work fearing that they may be subject to violence or abuse.”

Other points set out in the strategy include encouraging people to report incidents, creating more inclusive environments, establishing dedicated resources to stop and reduce violence as well as a staff training programme on the issue.

Mark Smith added: “Now is the time where the delivery of health and care services needs bold and innovative leadership; to be curious and to view the challenges we face from new perspectives.

“As the NHS nears the celebrations of its 75th anniversary, the Sussex strategy to the prevention and reduction of violence and abuse towards NHS and other health and care staff epitomises the values and principles set out in the NHS Constitution; all of which is embodied in a pioneering, collaborative approach fit for the 21st century.”

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