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Violence against hospital staff drops

PUBLISHED: 04:42 21 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:30 03 March 2010

VIOLENCE against staff at Suffolk hospitals has dropped after a host of measures were introduced, new figures reveal.

West Suffolk Hospital Trust's annual staff survey shows five per cent of staff had been the victim of a violent incident at work in the last year -compared to 7pc last year.

By Tracey Sparling

VIOLENCE against staff at Suffolk hospitals has dropped after a host of measures were introduced, new figures reveal.

West Suffolk Hospital Trust's annual staff survey shows five per cent of staff had been the victim of a violent incident at work in the last year -compared to 7pc last year.

The rate of reporting a violent incident went up from 84pc to 93pc.

The improvement comes after the West Suffolk Hospital Trust - which runs the hospital in Bury St Edmunds and the Walnuttree and St Leonards hospitals in Sudbury - took action following last year's survey.

Panic alarms were installed in key areas such as A&E, mobile phones were issued to community midwives and staff were trained in handling violence.

Another action taken as a result of the 2001 survey was to extend counselling services, which are now available to all staff.

Staff said friendly colleagues was the best thing about working at the hospital, and the satisfaction derived from fulfilling a caring role in society was their second choice, followed by good team spirit and flexible working hours were also highlighted.

"We try to listen to what staff tell us they need, and one innovation we have introduced is flexible working hours," said Jan Bloomfield, director of human resources.

"It is often difficult to reconcile the demands of work and life outside of work, and flexitime is intended to make it easier for people to manage this balance."

Appraisal and personal development planning procedures were reviewed to ensure that everyone gets the training and development they require.

"Overall the results of the 2002 survey are heartening, in that they show we have improved since last year. However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and there is still plenty of areas that we need to work on.

Over 2700 staff were sent forms earlier this year asking for their views and 30pc replied.

Weblink: www.wsufftrust.org.uk.

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