Frontline hospital staff receive training in managing violence and aggression
Recent figures released by the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service show that almost 80% of frontline staff at Sheffield’s adult hospitals have received training in how to deal with aggressive or abusive patients and visitors.
The training is part of a wider violence and aggression policy that outlines the Trust’s zero tolerance of abusive behaviour towards staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General hospitals.
Frontline staff including doctors, nurses, porters and reception staff in the highest risk areas are being trained on how to de-escalate situations where a patient or visitor could potentially become physically aggressive.
The staff are taught a range of ‘talk-down’ and negotiation techniques as well as how to identify warning signs and patterns of behaviour in people who could become aggravated. The one-day course will also help staff to understand the reasons why people become aggressive and how they can improve their communication and customer relations skills.
Terry Noble, Personal Safety and Health Training Advisor said;
“We take the view that even one act of abusive or violent behaviour is one too many but unfortunately there are times when our staff may find themselves in very challenging situations.
“Importantly, staff will not be expected to handle violent situations on their own; we have a 24 hour security presence across the Trust and a close working relationship with the police who we will call on to deal with aggressive people if necessary.
Mike Davey, Charge Nurse in A&E said;
“It is a sad fact that staff at the frontline particularly areas such as A&E departments face challenging situations most days. The training really helps us to feel more confident and equipped with the skills to deal with an aggressive or abusive patient or visitor, know how to de-escalate a situation or get themselves away from danger if necessary.”
Violent or aggressive situations can arise in many different guises. In the majority of cases at the hospitals, people’s actions can be explained by their illness, the effects of their medication or can be down to confusion caused by their medical condition.
The aim of the training is to help staff understand the techniques that can be employed in these different situations, taking care to ensure the safety of both the staff member and the patient or member of the public involved.