Published: 27/06/2002, Volume II2, No. 5811 Page 8

There were nearly 85,000 incidents of violence or abusive behaviour towards NHS staff in trusts and health authorities in England in 2000-01, according to a Department of Health survey published last week.The figure compared to around 65,000 reported incidents in 1998-99 - the only other occasion on which the information was collected on a national basis.The DoH has attributed the increase to improvements in the collection of data, and standardisation of the definition of violence towards staff, which now includes verbal abuse.The survey also found there were over 100,000 accidents involving staff in 2000-01, and a national sickness absence level in 2000 of 4.68 per cent.

www. nhs. uk/zerotolerance/survey/index. htm