With strong evidence that violence against NHS staff is rising, HSJ and Unison research explores the factors influencing these attacks and the initiatives underway to reduce them.

Research by HSJ and Unison has found an absolute increase of 9.7 per cent in violent attacks on NHS hospital staff.

The data gathered showed 56,435 reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2016-17. Extrapolating numbers from this sample to cover the whole NHS in England, this suggests there were an average of just over 200 reported physical assaults on NHS staff every day.

When measured per 1,000 staff (to account for growth in the NHS workforce), reported attacks rose by 6 per cent between 2015-16 and 2016-17. The absolute increase between the two years was 9.7 per cent.

The report includes case studies of trusts that have implemented a range of interventions to prevent harm to staff and Mersey Care Foundation Trust chief executive Joe Rafferty’s article about the trust’s initiatives to reduce physical assaults.

Exclusive: Dramatic rise in attacks on hospital staff