Staff at NHS Grampian have been the victim of more assaults than employees at any other health board in Scotland, a new report has revealed.
Published today, Unison’s annual violence at work survey includes startling statistics about the number of physical and verbal attacks north-east health workers have been subjected to.
There were 4,809 assaults recorded in Grampian in 2015, and a total of 18,636 across Scotland.
The annual report, combining freedom of information requests and a union member survey, covers all public sector bodies, including councils and the NHS.
Scott Donohoe, chairman of the union’s health and safety committee, said: “The abuse of staff is intolerable and no one should have to experience it as part of their work. This level of violence is simply unacceptable.”
The report notes that in the case of NHS Grampian, some recorded incidents from the previous reporting year may have been included.
Last night, north-east Conservative MSP Alex Johnston branded the figures “outrageous.”
He said: “I would have thought we would have more respect for people working in public services than this figure suggests.
“Nevertheless, a problem once identified has to be dealt with – we need to consider how we can properly use the police force to ensure that there is protection for public servants in the workplace and in particular those in our hospitals.
Dr Jamie Weir, chairman of the north-east patient body PACT, added: “I don’t think any patient would want that number to be linked to Grampian.
“It is totally inappropriate and unacceptable. Anything the patient organisations can do to reduce that number and relieve the stress on the work force should be encouraged. ”
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said the health board supports any member of staff who is the victim of an assault.
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.”