The NHS in North West London is asking local people to respect the dedicated NHS staff who care for them by launching a #ZeroTolerance campaign to tackle threats of violence, abuse or harassment against NHS staff.
Our #ZeroTolerance campaign is being promoted on our websites and social media over the coming months. We’re setting out the types of intimidating behaviour NHS colleagues often face and encouraging the public to report this abuse to the nearest member of NHS staff.
Research by HSJ/Unison shows there were an average of just over 200 reported physical assaults on NHS staff in England every day in 2016-17. When measured per 1,000 staff, reported attacks in the NHS organisations surveyed rose by 6 per cent between 2015-16 and 2016-17.
It’s normal to have disagreements with others and share your opinion about the quality of healthcare we receive, but there is nothing normal about abuse and intimidation. When arguments descend into name-calling or personal attacks, or if someone tries to humiliate another person, then this type of behaviour becomes unacceptable. Yelling, screaming or making others feel guilty about their position are all forms of verbal abuse that should be eliminated in the workplace.
Sometimes abuse can turn physical, whether this is getting into someone’s personal space or blocking them as they move away. This may escalate into a physical assault, either in the workplace or outside of work, so it’s important to identify threats and abusive behaviour at an early stage to make sure this doesn’t happen.
We’re also launching our #ZeroTolerance campaign in response to the growing level of harassment of NHS staff that takes place online. Threatening behaviour that targets staff members on social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is unacceptable, but unfortunately increasingly common in the digital age.
If someone has a complaint or comment about the quality of treatment they have received, they should get in touch immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can look into the issue as quickly and effectively as possible. Personal attacks in person or online will only delay the ability to assess the reason for the enquiry.
We’d encourage everyone to support our campaign by using the hashtag #ZeroTolerance and take a stand against harassment and abuse of NHS staff. Take a look at our poster here to find out more.