New figures show staff at NHS Grampian face sexual and racial abuse

The A&E department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The A&E department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

NHS Grampian staff are being sexually and racially abused at work, new figures have revealed.

The statistics, obtained by the Evening Express through a Freedom of Information request, show more than 40 incidents have been recorded relating to incidents involving sexual abuse between August last year and July this year.

The figures for the same period also highlight staff are being racially abused by patients. A total of 1,535 incidents have been recorded involving staff being physically abused, assaulted or subjected to violence.

Staff have also been verbally abused 1,265 times between August last year and July this year.

Other incidents involving NHS Grampian staff include workers being bullied, harassed, bitten and also injured while restraining a patient.

An NHS Grampian spokesman said the health board continues to encourage workers to report incidents which have led to them being harmed.

She added a number of cases involve patients who are struggling with a condition.

She said: “We take any act of violence against our staff very seriously.

“It is never acceptable that anyone is subjected to behaviour which causes them harm. We have worked extremely hard to make all staff aware of our reporting system and encourage them to use it, should they be the victim of physical or verbal abuse.

“We will support any staff member who wishes to make a complaint to the police concerning individuals who subject them to aggression or violence in the workplace.

“However, it is important not to stigmatise every patient involved in an incident.

“Many incidents are due to the clinical condition of the person.

“We also provide staff training and operational advice and support from specialists.

“In addition, NHS Grampian works closely with Police Scotland, the local authorities and other agencies to ensure a joint approach in the development of safe working practices, information sharing and communication in relation to risk.”