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Commission wants NHS violence addressed

More action is needed to address violence and abuse in healthcare, a Healthcare Commission Survey says.

The study found that violence and abuse is high in the health sector compared with other working environments.

Last year 13% of staff said they had experienced physical violence.

Anna Walker, the Commission's chief executive said: "There are challenges to making the NHS a better place to work.

"Some of those will be tough to crack because they are about the environment that the healthcare system operates in. We know that health workers are more likely to experience violence, harassment and abuse than workers from other sectors and the NHS has made a concerted effort to address this problem.

"Trusts must continue to step up to this challenge because it is unacceptable for NHS staff, who provide vital, often life-saving care, to be put in the position where they face violence and abuse as they go about their day-to-day work."

But the survey also revealed that staff were generally satisfied in their jobs, consistent with previous years, and 73% had taken advantage of flexible working options.

There have also been clear improvements in infection control, with 82% of staff saying their trust does enough to promote the importance of hand washing to staff.

Anna Walker added: "Each trust is a unique working environment and local results highlight the challenges particular to each of them. At a national level, the survey results must be used to drive continual improvement in the working lives of thousands of NHS workers."

Healthcare Commission

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"The health environment is not absolved from the current changes occurring in society - lack of respect for others individual selfishness and greed - something must be done and soon rather than later." - V Henry, London