By Sonny Snelling

A Freedom of Information request has found out there have been 1022 separate cases of assault in the last 3 years at East Kent hospitals.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) results showed that 980 of the cases were on staff.

The situations varied from punching, kicking, head-butting and biting to swearing and threating behaviour towards members of staff.

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What can be done to prevent staff assaults?

The statistics also say state that 42 of the 1022 assaulted were patients.

They varied from visitors and patients fighting to patient on patient fighting.

The numbers are only those the hospitals have recorded. There are some that are not reported by staff.

EKHUFT want to crack down on this problem.

An East Kent Hospitals spokesperson said: “Over the past few years we have been embedding and encouraging a culture of reporting incidents so that we can take any actions necessary.

“We also have a strong focus on equipping our staff with the skills needed to de-escalate incidents and protect themselves and other patients from assaults.”

EKHUFT see the numbers as important in helping to provide better safety.

They said: “This data is vital in helping us understand the rate of incidents so we can take action to safeguard the welfare of our staff.

“We always balance our duty of care to our staff equally with our duty of care to those who use our services, but we have a strong zero tolerance policy on violence.”

With the majority of assaults happening against staff The British Medical Association believe that in a struggling health service the safety of workers is fundamental.

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BMA HQ London – The BMA take safety as a priority.

A BMA spokesperson said: “Working on the frontline of the health service carries risks which doctors are all too aware of. There are some very challenging clinical circumstances that can lead to the safety of staff being compromised, but staff safety absolutely must be a priority.”

The BMA are looking to cut down these numbers and resolve the matter.

“As workloads rise, and staff are under greater pressure from the demands of patients that are harder to meet, the risk that patients take out their frustration on those who are trying to help them increases.  The mechanisms must be there to minimise the likelihood of attacks, to support staff who experience them, and to ensure that anyone who commits an act of violence is dealt with appropriately.”