Fears over attacks on nurses at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

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A nursing union has raised safety fears after staff at the district’s hospitals were assaulted at work 91 times in a year.

Latest figures show physical assaults on staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust fell between 2011-12 and 2-12-13, from 110 in a year to 91.

But the overall number of assaults at hospital trusts across England rose to almost 64,000, a rise of 5.8 per cent on the previous year.

The Royal College of Nursing’s Glenn Turp said: “NHS staff across Yorkshire and the Humber are doing an extremely difficult job in challenging circumstances.

“We are concerned that frontline staff may be at greater risk because of additional pressures on services, leading to a growing level of frustration from some patients.

“There is no excuse for taking out these frustrations on hard working frontline staff, who have no control over the pressure that services are under and are doing everything they can to help patients despite these challenges.”

At South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health services in Wakefield, Barnsley, Calderdale and Kirklees, physical assaults fell from 904 in 2011/12 to 714 in 2012/13.

A Trust spokeswoman said the reporting of attacks was actively encouraged.

She said: “Staff have been trained to de-escalate situations that might lead to violence and to eliminate incidents, leading to fewer instances of reported physical assaults.

“The safety of service users and staff is of the utmost importance and we are committed to continuing to take steps towards preventing these incidents.”