Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) has launched its No Excuse for Abuse campaign today (Monday 11 October). The campaign is directly in response to concerns raised by staff in the NHS staff surveys, which consistently reports a high percentage of CWPT staff are being subjected to unacceptable physical and verbal abuse.
NHS and other care workers regularly face violence and abuse in the workplace. A study published by the British Medical Association (BMA), found that more half of all doctors have recently seen NHS colleagues such as nurses and Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) being abused or assaulted and over a third of doctors have experienced verbal abuse, including threats.
Mel Coombes MBE, Chief Executive CWPT, said: “I want to assure staff that we are listening. We care. And abuse towards staff will not be tolerated. No one working on behalf of CWPT should ever feel devalued in their role or because of their race, disability, sexual orientation, beliefs or any aspect of their identity.
“We stand together with our staff against any form of discrimination and abuse – verbal or physical and will use all powers available to us to protect those who work on behalf of the Trust. Therefore, we have today, during Hate Crime Awareness Week, launched the No Excuse for Abuse campaign.”
Over the coming months, CWPT will carry out a range of activities with staff, patients, visitors and members of the public to raise awareness of the campaign. This includes a CWPT staff pledge, where staff can sign up and pledge to:
- Recognise the serious impact that violence and abuse has on NHS and care workers.
- Report all forms of abuse both physical and verbal received or witnessed in the course of duties.
- Stand with colleagues to support them to report all of abuse, both physical and verbal they receive.
CWPT will also share stories to raise awareness of types of abuse against staff and how when colleagues work together, we can help put an end to abuse towards staff once and for all.
CWPT works closely with health and social care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire, including local police forces who have expressed their support for this campaign.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “I strongly support the ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ campaign as it is simply unacceptable for NHS staff, ambulance workers and others in healthcare settings to face abuse or violence as they go about their work treating patients and saving lives. Equally, I know that healthcare workers can also be subjected to prejudicial views or hatred because of their ethnicity, nationality and a range of other factors. Again, this is completely unacceptable and as a society we must call out such behaviour and make it clear that it will not be tolerated.
“The law has been strengthened to protect emergency services workers and those in healthcare from violence and abuse and across all the emergency services there is a united desire to ensure that tough action is taken against anyone who commits any form of abuse or inappropriate behaviour against staff.”
Chief Supt Mike Smith from Warwickshire Police said: “As emergency service workers, we accept we will often be asked to put ourselves in harm’s way to protect others, but this does not mean we ever expect to be assaulted.
“Like everyone else, emergency service workers have a right to work in a safe environment and to return home safe and uninjured at the end of a shift.
“We are pleased to see the launch of this campaign and are fully supportive of our partners in the NHS. Assaults of any nature – whether verbal or physical - against emergency service workers are abhorrent and will not be tolerated. When offences do take place, we will look to use the full force of the law to bring those responsible to justice.”