NHS staff report almost 100,000 instances of violence and harassment

By Patrick Barnham

Scottish Liberal Democrats have today revealed that NHS staff have reported instances of violence and harassment on almost 100,000 occasions since 2018.

Freedom of information requests submitted by the party revealed that since April 2018:

  • 97,203 incidents of violence and harassment, including physical assault and sexual assault were recorded by healthboards.
  • Despite the coronavirus pandemic causing significant disruption to health board operations, the number of incidents recorded per year has remained remarkably consistent at more than 19,000 per year.
  • In three out of the last five years, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde has recorded the greatest number of incidents, with NHS Lothian taking the top spot on the other two occasions. Greater Glasgow & Clyde also recorded the highest number of total incidents (19,707).

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“NHS staff deserve to go to work without the fear of violence or harassment.

“Hospitals and clinics are somewhere that people attend when they are at a low point, seeking care, treatment and support.

“Instead they are being confronted by a small number of people who are behaving in a despicable fashion.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats would work with nursing bodies and health boards to understand what staff need to feel safe at work and ensure that swift and thorough punishments are applied to those who behave so abhorrently.”

Full figures here

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