Health boards join forces to combat NHS violence

Mounting violence towards NHS staff in the north west of England has sparked a PR drive to raise public awareness of the issue.

The campaign represents doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health workers across the 33 organisations covered by the Cheshire and Merseyside NHS Strategic Health Authority region.

The first part of the campaign is media relations delivered in-house, while a hard hitting advertising campaign has just kicked off, designed by Teesside-based Ewen Communications.

‘All in a day’s Work’ uses a range of images, showing the faces of NHS staff who have been attacked.

Posters will appear in bus shelters, pubs and clubs, and also on beer mats to tackle the fact that violence is often alcohol-fuelled.

Merseyside Regional Ambulance Service head of communications, Mike Barker, said: ‘I brought all the groups together to pool resources and run a heavier campaign to raise awareness on a much bigger scale. Rather than doing a campaign as 33 separate organisations, we put our money together to achieve a bigger campaign, and I am satisfied with what we have achieved.’

The campaign warns that a zero-tolerance approach has been adopted to violence and that abusers of NHS staff will be refused treatment.

The campaign also encourages staff to report incidents of violence, aggression or abuse.

The region experienced 4,767 reported incidents of violence against NHS staff during 2002-2003. This is an increase of 156 on the previous year, and such incidents now affect almost one in 12 of the region’s 60,000 front line NHS workers.

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