There are millions of people working extremely hard every day in the UK to ensure that the public are healthy and recover from illness or accidents. Countless medical staff around the country study hard to become doctors and nurses and then work long hours and endure stressful situations in order to save the lives of men women and children every day. These people are present day saints and have chosen the caring professions because they genuinely want to help others. Sadly though, their efforts sometimes are not appreciated.
Figures show that each hospital in the UK reports an average of 43 violent assaults on staff every year. From receptionists and porters, to nurses, surgeons and doctors, people trying hard to make others feel better, are constantly at risk from unprovoked attack by unruly patients. Under the Freedom of Information Act, hospitals around the country have revealed that patients will use the nearest weapon available, from a hot drink to a zimmer frame, in order to inflict injury upon medical staff. In Wales figures show that a worker is attacked every two hours, with an average of 13 attacks per day across the country. There were around 7,500 reports of physical and verbal abuse across Wales last year.
The reasons for these attacks range from anger about waiting times to frustration from friends and relatives about visiting hours. Around 40% of attacks are alcohol induced with many patients being admitted to hospital with self inflicted drinking injuries. It is believed that the high numbers relate to the fact that staff are now actively encouraged to report any incident where they are threatened or attacked.
Under current law people who attack medical staff are likely to receive a charge of assault rather than the offence of serious assault, which is the offence people are charged with after attacking a police officer. Calls are being made for attacks on hospital staff to be taken more seriously after it was revealed that of 116,000 verbal or physical assaults carried out in 2003, only 50 led to prosecutions. Staff are hoping for a zero tolerance approach to violence in hospital.
There are several cases where staff have made successful compensation claims against hospitals where they work. For example a nurse made a claim for compensation and received £5,000 after being attacked from behind by a patient. She had tried to prevent the patient from attacking another and was then attacked herself. Hospitals have a duty of care, just like any other employer, to protect their staff from injury and accidents at work. Even though violence appears to be commonplace, action should be taken to reduce the risk to people who have dedicated their lives to helping people who are sick and in need.
If you have been injured whilst at work and your employer was to blame or did not protect you, then you are entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
To get free legal advice and a no obligation assessment of your claim then call The Accident Compensation Solicitors on 0808 144 00 43.
Editorial notes: www.accident-compensation-solicitor-uk.co.uk provides personal injury compensation following a non fault accident.
The author: Sophie Evans - www.accident-compensation-solicitor-uk.co.uk
Accident Compensation Solicitors provide customers with personal injury compensation following a non fault accident. They work on a no win no fee basis ensuring that customers get 100% compensation. Call 0808 144 0043 for more information about making a claim.