Addressing Violence and Aggression in your Organisation

At accuSafe, our mission is to help healthcare organisations create great, safe places to work and receive treatment. In this blog, we tackle an important issue that directly impacts those working in the healthcare sector across the UK: violence and aggression incidents in the workplace. We’ll provide you with critical statistics and actionable advice to help you protect your staff while they care for patients.

The Startling Reality: UK Statistics on Violence and Aggression in Healthcare

  1. Alarming Figures: According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), healthcare workers in the United Kingdom face a significantly higher rate of workplace violence compared to many other industries. In fact, they experience nearly four times the average rate of non-fatal workplace injuries resulting from violence.
  2. Patient Stress and Mental Health: Healthcare workers frequently interact with patients who are under stress or present with mental health issues. The HSE reports that over 60% of serious workplace violence incidents in healthcare settings involve encounters with patients.
  3. Under Reporting Concerns: It is essential to recognise that the true number of violence and aggression incidents in UK healthcare facilities might be considerably higher due to underreporting. Addressing this issue is vital to ensure the safety of your staff.


Tips for Healthcare Managers: Ensuring the Safety of Your Staff

  1. Comprehensive Training: Invest in thorough, fit for purpose training for your staff. Provide them with essential de-escalation techniques, self-defence skills, and crisis communication strategies. Knowledge is a powerful tool in reducing the risk of incidents.
  2. Adequate Staffing: Ensure that your facility is adequately staffed to cope with patient demands. Overworked and stressed employees are at a higher risk of encountering violent situations. Balancing patient load with available resources is absolutely crucial.
  3. Clear Policies and Reporting Systems: Establish transparent policies regarding workplace violence and aggression and ensure that your employees are briefed accordingly. Encourage your staff to report incidents without fear of retaliation – this is essential for a violence and aggression reduction programme to be successful! A robust reporting system allows for the analysis of incidents and their underlying causes.
  4. Enhanced Security Measures: Implement security measures such as panic buttons, surveillance cameras, and access control systems in high-risk areas within your workplace. Do you operate safe systems of work for those working alone? These measures can serve as deterrents and provide an additional layer of protection for your staff.
  5. Support and Debriefing: Do your staff have access to support services, including counselling and debriefing after traumatic incidents? This helps maintain the emotional well-being and resilience of your dedicated employees, whilst keeping staff absence to a minimum.
  6. A Collaborative Environment: Do you foster a culture of respect and collaboration between your staff and patients currently? Empower your employees to engage openly with patients, addressing their concerns and emotions in a supportive manner.


In Conclusion

Violence and aggression incidents in healthcare settings are a pressing concern, but with the right measures in place, you can create a safer environment for your staff. 

Need some support?

At accuSafe, we stand ready to support you in implementing an effective violence and aggression reduction programme to ensure the continued well-being of your team. For expert guidance on this, or any other health and safety challenge, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 0333 012 4045 or

accuSafe, your trusted partner for health and safety consultancy and training services in the healthcare sector!


Keep it safe, keep it accuSafe!

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