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News

Study Reveals High Levels Of Abuse Towards Nurses

Connexion2 : 06 January, 2012  (Technical Article)
A study by the Royal College of Nursing reveals the extent to which members of the nursing industry require protection against high levels of abuse
Study Reveals High Levels Of Abuse Towards Nurses
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced findings from a recent study showing that verbal abuse, intimidation and attacks are still very real threats faced by community based nurses on a regular basis. The study, which was published on December 20th 2011, highlights some worrying statistics for NHS staff that regularly carry out lone working as part of their jobs:

* Over 60% of nurses taking part have been subjected to abuse in the last two years
* Over 10% have been victims of physical abuse over the same time period
* Nearly 40% felt risk to lone workers has increased in the last two years
* Over 35% felt factors such as increased substance abuse was contributing to that risk

The safety of NHS lone workers remains a well publicised issue – particularly around working alone, the under-reporting of incidents of verbal abuse, and out of hours appointments. Nearly half of the nurses who took part in the study didn’t feel their employer would take any action over verbal abuse, and over 25% of respondents remained unconvinced over whether their employer would take the necessary action in the result of a physical assault. In fact over half of those nurses surveyed admitted to feeling less safe when conducting out of hours visits.

The RCN’s Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter has commented on the findings as being “utterly appalled that Nurses continue to be subjected to violence . . . this is all the more upsetting when we consider that nurses are being attacked when they are trying to help people”.

Supported by Reliance High-Tech (supplier of the Reliance Protect solution to lone workers in the NHS) and Connexion2 (manufacturer of the identicom lone worker device), the study was conducted jointly by the RCN and Sheffield Hallam University and involved nearly 800 RCN members taking part in a web-based questionnaire eliciting responses using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

NHS trusts can access Reliance Protect (a dedicated lone worker solution) through a public sector Framework Agreement. There are now over 40,000 NHS staff benefitting from this across 233 Trusts in England and Wales. Purchasing through the framework is the easiest and most cost-effective method to supply NHS and other public sector staff with a BS8484 approved lone worker solution. BS8484 (The British Standard for lone worker device services) was introduced in 2009 and remains the only way to guarantee a Police escalation in the UK for a lone worker in distress.

Dan Thomas, Sales & Marketing Director of Reliance High Tech commented: "We were delighted to support the recent study by the RCN and will continue to support them where possible in order to highlight the risks to Nurses who are lone workers. We have first-hand experience of many trusts benefitting from the implantation of a Reliance Protect solution resulting in greater peace of mind for staff and a contribution towards the trust’s duty of care."

Craig Swallow, Managing Director of Connexion2 also added: "These figures show that whilst a lot of good work has been carried out to improve the safety of front-line NHS  staff, a real risk to lone workers remains. It’s important that everyone continues to remain vigilant and use proven solutions and training to assess and reduce their personal risk on a daily basis."
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