Four in five nurses on mental wards face violence

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 26 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1227
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. London

    A detailed audit of 265 facilities for psychiatry and learning disability in England and Wales has uncovered “startlingly high” levels of violence towards staff and among patients.

    It says that alcohol and drug abuse are the main triggers for this violence, although other factors are staff shortages, failures in basic safety techniques, poor training, and boredom and inactivity on many wards.

    The study, produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for the NHS inspection body the Healthcare Commission, shows that nurses suffer the most violence, with nearly four out of five saying they experienced violent or threatening behaviour during their time on the ward. One staff member said it had …

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