Over two-thirds of NHS staff trained in a system designed to help them tackle violence and abuse say they now feel safer in their job, according to a survey.

The figures published by the NHS Security Management Service show that 67 per cent of NHS staff trained to prevent violence and abuse at work said they felt safer compared to 47 per cent before training.

Nine out of 10 staff trained by the SMS in conflict resolution said they manage verbally abusive patients better, compared to six out of 10 before being trained.

Figures released in November showed a fall in the number of violent attacks on NHS staff by 1,690 in 2005-06 and a 12 per cent increase in prosecutions against violent patients.

A Unison spokesperson said it wanted to see more staff trained more quickly. It also called for risk assessments to determine which security measures are needed in different parts of the NHS.

SMS head Richard Hampton said: 'The announcement reveals the effectiveness of the conflict resolution training and how important it is to train staff.'