Published: 26/05/2005, Volume II5, No. 5957 Page 7

The misuse of alcohol and illegal drugs, inadequate staffing, boredom among service users and a poor care environment are resulting in high levels of violence in mental health and learning disability inpatient units, research carried out for the Healthcare Commission by the Royal College of Psychiatrists has found.

Almost 80 per cent of nursing staff and 41 per cent of clinical staff said they had experienced violent or threatening behaviour, as had one in three inpatients. The use of alcohol and a lack of occupations because of a shortage of therapeutic activities were found to be prime causes of violence on mental health acute wards.