No Abuse No Excuse

No Abuse No Excuse campaign logo

Violence against our staff by patients, relatives, and members of the public has more than doubled over the last three years – including threats to kill, racist taunts, and physical abuse such as being punched.

To protect our colleagues, we’ve launched a hard-hitting, visual campaign: No Abuse No Excuse - sharing the experiences of those who have been subjected to violence and aggression at work.

It means when visiting our hospitals, no one can escape the message that we will not tolerate staff being hit, shouted at, or subjected to racist abuse. We want to encourage patients and visitors to reflect, bringing home the reality of some people’s actions.

Among those featuring in the campaign are:

Nurse Yvonne Ihekwoakba

Nurse Yvonne Ihekwoaba (above): “My patient was verbally abusive when I offered him his medication. I tried to calm him down. The next thing I knew I was punched in my stomach and landed on the floor. I was in A&E for several hours.”

Mohammed Islam, a security officer

Mohammed Islam, a security officer (above): “I tripped taking a patient back to his room and he kicked me in the jaw. He broke my teeth, and I was bleeding. I found it challenging, both physically and mentally, to come back to work again.”

Theo Kayode-Osiyemi, from our appointments team

Theo Kayode-Osiyemi (above), from our appointments team: “I have often been abused racially and called names that are not pleasant to hear or repeat. One day I was told to go to the jungle where I belong.”

As well as the visual aspect of the campaign, we’re making it more straightforward for staff to ‘red card’/ban an abusive patient from our hospitals, when it is clinically safe to do so. Under the existing, more complicated rules, this has only happened once in the past five years.

We’re introducing 60 new body-worn video cameras for staff in our A&Es and frailty units, in addition to those already in use across our hospital. We’re also improving our training and increasing the visibility of security officers to provide support.

Matthew Trainer, our Chief Executive said:

 Our staff should not be shouted at, hit, or subjected to racist abuse while doing their job. It’s happening more and more often to colleagues in our hospitals, and we are taking action to respond to their concerns.

Our message couldn’t be simpler: no abuse, no excuse.

In January 2021 there were 36 incidents of violence and aggression against our staff by patients/relatives/visitors. In January 2024, that figure rose to 75. Our staff have also reported violence is on the rise via our annual NHS Staff Survey results – this year’s survey showed 14.5 per cent of our workforce have experienced violence and aggression from those they are caring for.

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