Hospital staff make video for Black Eye Friday telling of abuse they face doing job
Hospital workers have told of the abuse and violence they face on a regular basis in a new hard hitting video.
Staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Hospital Trust have released the video on Black Eye Friday – the last Friday before Christmas – which is one of the NHS’s busiest days of the year for treating alcohol-related illness and injury.
The video features Lisa an A&E sister, A&E staff nurse Bianca and deputy head porter Paul talking about verbal abuse and threats of violence they have faced while trying to help patients.
Lisa described an incident where a patient tried to attack her saying: “She verbally abused me in a very unpleasant way. It was prolonged and she also tried to physically attack me.”
Paul recounted a case when he was threatened by a man at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
“When I walked into the side room it was tipped upside down and I got greeted by that he was going to put an oxygen cylinder through my face.”
Bianca added: “That can happen on a daily basis over months and years.”
The trust operates a zero tolerance approach to violence and abuse of staff.
Julie Parkes, Trust director and project lead for its Keeping People Safe agenda, said: “To hear staff telling their very real stories about their own experiences, explaining that they ‘just carry on’ or that ‘it’s become part of the job’ is simply not acceptable.
“I would challenge anyone watching this video not to feel absolutely appalled by what they are hearing.”
In 2016-17 a reported 56,435 physical assaults were reported against NHS staff, averaging approximately 200 a day.
The same year the trust launched its Keeping People Safe campaign with posters featuring the children of staff working at the hospital sites.
Ms Parkes added: “We take our approach to violent attacks within the organisation seriously.
“We have continuously spoken about our position of zero tolerance, and we will continue to keep this conversation alive, both internally and more publicly until we can eradicate the issue entirely.”