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One in five staff injuries at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals result of violence

By David Gazet

Violence is responsible for one in five injuries to staff at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals (MTW), figures reveal.

During the last financial year there were 1,433 incidents, of which 381 resulted in staff or visitors at the acute hospital trust’s two sites being hurt.

Of these, 79 were incidents of violence, abuse and harassment, making up 21% of injuries.

Dozens of injuries reported at two Kent hospitals were the result of violence. Stock image

There were 78 cases where needles, scalpels and other medical instruments caused harm to staff (20% of the total) and 69 incidents where someone suffered a fall.

There were also 60 injuries caused by collisions or staff being struck by an object, and 62 moving or handling injuries.

The figures are included in the health and safety annual report.

Wounds or pain caused by collisions and moving and handling have both increased. The data shows incidents of violence, cuts and falls are all down on the previous year.

The board papers state: “The software reports show staff are subjected to variable levels of violence from patients with a diagnosis of dementia.

“These range from scratches and pinching to a broken nose.

An anti-violence advertisement used by the NHS

“Work is ongoing to improve staff and patient security and ensure conflict resolution training is delivered to those who need it and includes dealing with challenging conditions.”

Data from NHS Protect shows the number of physical assaults made against staff at MTW has gone up 45% over the past five years from 73 in 2011/12 to 107 the last financial year, however this figure is down 12 % on the 2014-15 total of 121 assaults.

In each case the majority of the attacks were committed by patients who did not know what they were doing.

Last year only five resulted in convictions and four dealt with using lesser measures, such as banning orders.

Figures for the current year have not yet been published.

This month the trust also concluded an internal investigation into 17 allegations of assault on patients, six of which were made by patients undergoing endoscopy procedures.

One incident was upheld, two allegations were partially upheld and one case remains open.

The papers state: “The review process has not identified any emerging trends or themes that would give cause for concern.”

A trust spokesman said: “Work is ongoing to improve staff and patient security and ensure conflict resolution training is delivered to those who need it.”

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