Trust welcomes zero tolerance approach to violence against Wigan NHS workers

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

A “zero tolerance” approach to violence against NHS staff has been welcomed by the trust running the borough’s hospitals.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock set out a series of measures to protect workers in England as it emerged almost one in eight experienced violence in the last year.

Other news: Wigan's £15.7m bus station - watch our video inside the impressive new terminus

He said it was “unacceptable” health workers had been subjected to violence and aggression as he set out the first NHS Violence Reduction Strategy.

It states how NHS staff will be better protected against deliberate attacks and abuse from patients, their families and the public.

The move has been welcomed by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), whose sites include Wigan Infirmary and Leigh Infirmary.

The Wigan Post previously revealed there were 288 assaults on trust employees in 2016-17, after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

A trust spokesman said: “Many of the recorded assaults on staff that take place at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust are a direct result of staff caring for elderly, confused patients or those with mental health problems.

“However, there are also a number of instances where patients become aggressive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In these instances, WWL already operates a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in relation to this behaviour and, as such, welcomes the Health Secretary’s stance.

“As a trust we have full supportive measures in place for our staff who may have been victims of assault, including counselling and complimentary resilience courses.”

In a speech to the Royal College of Nursing, Mr Hancock set out how the NHS will work with the criminal justice system to make sure victims are supported to give evidence and achieve prosecutions in the quickest way possible.