I am worried about being assaulted at work. How can I make sure I am safe?

The Royal College of Nursing says that health service managers should call the police every time a member of staff is attacked, the police need to take the issue seriously, and NHS trusts should press charges every time a member of staff is attacked.

If you are attacked at work and the attack is not reported to the police, it will be harder to claim Criminal Injuries compensation (see our Personal Injury Claims section for more information).

The NHS began its Zero Tolerance campaign against violence in 2001, but the number of violent incidents against NHS staff remains high. Figures published in December 2016 by NHS Protect, which leads on work to safeguard NHS staff and resources from crime, show that the number of violent assaults against health service employees in England is up by over a fifth (22%) in the last five years. There were 70,555 violent incidents involving health workers in 2015/16, compared to 57,830 five years ago.

Health workers' union UNISON has produced It's not part of the job a guide for reps on tackling violence at work.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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