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Safety alarms for NHS staff

28th September 2007

Around 30,000 NHS workers are set to be provided with safety alarm devices as part of the Department of Health’s pledge to spend £97m on tackling violence against staff.

nurse cuts

The devices will have an alarm function but will also help locate the user and link them to a trained individual who can summon help if needed. The government has set aside £29m for the new devices as part of the wider anti-violence initiative, which will also see the DoH invest in a new centralised reporting system to track violence against NHS staff.

Health secretary Alan Johnson said: “Over 58,000 NHS staff were physically assaulted by patients and relatives in England in 2005-06. This is completely unacceptable. NHS staff working alone and in the community are particularly at risk. Thanks to these safety alarms they will know that help is at hand.

“Although we have seen a 16-fold increase in prosecutions since 2003, more needs to be done. NHS staff dedicate their lives to caring for the sick and in return they deserve respect. Anybody who abuses our staff must face tough action and the possibility of jail.?

A further range of security measures are planned including a system that will be used by the NHS Security Management Services to monitor security issues in every English hospital. Under the system the service will be able to identify poor performing trusts, analyse security weaknesses and recommend targeted prevention measures.

NHS staff will receive mandatory training in personal safety, conflict resolution and dealing with verbal abuse.

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