NHS Protect have published details of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in England during 2015-16.

NHS Security Officer guards patient

The figures
show that 70,555 physical assaults against NHS staff were reported in England in 2015-16. This was 2,691 more than the previous year.

46,107 assaults occurred within the mental health sector; 20,018 occurred in the acute sector;  2,130 in the primary and community care sector; and there were 2,300 assaults on ambulance staff and paramedics.

In the vast majority (52,704) of assault cases reported during 2015-2016, the medical condition* of the assailant was an obstacle to the pursuit of a criminal sanction. (* i.e. where the perpetrator did not know what they were doing, or did not know what they were doing was wrong due to illness, mental ill health, severe learning disability or the treatment administered.)

During 2015-16, the number of criminal sanctions imposed following reported assaults increased to 1,740 from 1,679 the previous year. Criminal sanctions include but are not limited to: Cautions & Conditional Cautions, Community Rehabilitation or Punishment Orders, Conditional Discharges, Fines, Fixed Penalty Notices, Imprisonment (including suspended sentences) and Restorative Justice.

In addition, there were 1,588 civil and administrative sanctions applied (i.e. up from 1,077 in 2014-15). Civil and administrative sanctions include but are not limited to: Acceptable Behaviour Agreements, Banning from Premises, Harassment Warning Issued, Injunction, Use of CJIA Powers, Violent Patient Scheme/History Marking Procedure and Warning Letters

To view/download NHS Protect’s report on physical assaults on NHS staff 2015-16: Click Here.


The figures also show that NONE of the 416 assaults reported at Oxleas NHS Trust in London and NONE of the 1,554 assaults reported at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust involved any medical factors!