Safe Staffing

Mental health staff bear brunt of police shortage

Mental health units and police services are not staffed sufficiently to provide safe care for vulnerable patients, according to Unison general secretary Dave Prentis

Abstract

Mental health units and police services are not staffed sufficiently to provide safe care for vulnerable patients, according to Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.

Freedom of information requests by The Guardian newspaper revealed rising numbers of assaults against staff at NHS trusts. A notable example was North and East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT), where there were 291 assaults against mental health unit staff last year, up 35% from 2014.

Figures also show police did not respond to more than 125 of the 313 calls for help from staff at NELFT last year.

Mr Prentis said the figures show an ‘intolerable’ level of attacks on staff.

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Standard: volume 30, issue 29

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