January 18, 2019

Hammond to pledge nearly £1bn extra for social care in Budget

02 November 2018, 03:41 | Silvia Roy

Hammond to pledge nearly £1bn extra for social care in Budget

Hammond to pledge nearly £1bn extra for social care in Budget

One in eight NHS employees have experienced violence from patients, their relatives or the public in the past year, which is the highest figure for five years, according to the latest NHS staff survey.

'For those in the most unpredictable, frontline settings - paramedics, accident and emergency staff and mental health professionals - dealing with violent or abusive patients happens all too often.

The government is also drawing up plans for violence and abuse data from across the NHS to be reported nationally.

Mr Hancock added: 'We want to empower staff and give them greater confidence to report violence, knowing that they will see meaningful action from trusts and a consistent prosecution approach from the judicial system'. It is therefore vital that this investment is protected for mental health to ensure it brings about the promised improvements in care and support and to put right the decades of under-investment in mental health services throughout the NHS.

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"The prospect of an additional £2 billion of funding for mental health by 2023/24 is a welcome step on the journey towards true parity of esteem", said the Mental Health Network, but Dr Zain Sikafi, practicing GP and chief executive/co-founder of online therapy and counseling service Mynurva, said it "does not go far enough".

He will announce an NHS violence reduction strategy aimed at eradicating attacks on staff, in a speech to the Royal College of Nursing on Wednesday.

In some cases prosecutions may not be appropriate, such as when assaults are carried out by patients with dementia, brain injuries or mental health problems.

The new measures follow the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, which increased the maximum prison sentence for assaulting an emergency worker from six months to a year. Yet the sad truth is that that something experienced by many NHS staff.

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"It is a sad fact that nearly none of the perpetrators receive custodial sentences when they are prosecuted for assaulting our staff", the association's managing director Martin Flaherty said.

Planned sessions will look at strategies for reducing stigma and raising awareness of mental health issues, ways to address the challenges for ensuring early intervention and delivering services closer to people's homes, and opportunities for promoting greater collaboration between providers, as well as examining key issues around funding and access to mental health services.

Sara Gorton, head of health at the union Unison, said: "No-one should be abused, threatened or attacked at work - especially when all they're trying to do is help people".

"These measures are another way to change this for good by increasing the accountability of employers for the safety of their staff and ensuring those who wilfully assault health care workers feel the full force of the law".

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"This can be understandable".

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