Southampton General Hospital has reported over 1,300 incidents of assaults towards staff from patients in the last four years.
Following from an FOI by The Daily Echo, 1,304 incidents were recorded with 115 of those resulting in police assistance. The highest number of assaults were between 2016 and 2019 (359) with numbers being 311 and 290 in the following years. But recordings have increased again between 2019 and 2020, with 344 reported incidents.
However, the report has been met with distaste from both Southampton MPs and the Royal College of Nursing, who claim that the real number of incidents is ‘much higher’.
Theresa Curry, RCN Senior Officer South Hampshire, has said:
“No one goes to work expecting to be abused. It is never acceptable and these figures are really sad to see – although these are just the reported figures, the real figures are probably even higher. This isn’t a Southampton problem, this is an issue across the country. We know that as a patient or family/friend of a patient it can be really scary to go to hospital. It’s a time of heightened emotions for everyone but lashing out at staff will not solve anything. Shouting at a nurse will not get you seen any quicker. All of the staff in a hospital are there to help. From the receptionists to doctors, nurses, porters – everyone is doing their bit to help the people in their care.”
MP for Southampton Test, Alan Whitehead, has said that the numbers were ‘very worrying’ and that they ‘have been too high for a while’. Mr. Whitehead has also called for more police aide in hospitals: