NHS England has published a new national violence prevention and reduction standard, which complements existing health and safety legislation.
The standard delivers a risk-based framework that supports a safe and secure working environment for NHS staff, safeguarding them against abuse, aggression and violence.
The violence prevention and reduction standard employs the Plan, Do Check, Act (PDCA) approach, an iterative four-step management method to validate, control and achieve continuous improvement of processes.
All NHS commissioners and all providers of NHS-funded services operating under the NHS Standard Contract should have regard to the violence prevention and reduction standard, and are required to review their status against it and provide board assurance that they have been met it twice a year.
Commissioners are also expected to undertake compliance assessments as part of their regular contract reviews, twice a year as a minimum or quarterly if significant concerns are identified and raised.
Subject to consultation over winter 2020/21, the violence prevention and reduction standard will be incorporated into the 2021/22 NHS Standard Contract.
As a minimum, the standard will be reviewed annually or following significant changes, i.e. legislative and strategic changes. It is applicable until further notice.
The standard has been developed with partners from the Social Partnership Forum and its subgroups, the Workforce Issues Group and the Violence Reduction Group. The standard is managed by NHS England and NHS Improvement and was endorsed by the Social Partnership Forum on 15 December 2020.
As reported by Univadis recently, NHS staff working in London trusts are exposed to high levels of discrimination and harassment from colleagues, with women and minority groups most at risk, according to the findings of a cross-sectional survey analysis published in BJPsych Open.
Reported incidents of workplace discrimination and bullying, harassment and abuse from NHS staff have steadily increased over the past five years, particularly in London Trusts.