No Excuse for Abuse campaign launched at UHCW NHS Trust to protect staff and patients from violence and aggression

Staff at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust are spearheading a powerful and impactful new campaign to demonstrate that abuse of any kind and inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated, under any circumstances, towards healthcare workers.

Cases of aggression and violence have risen across the NHS and University Hospital, Coventry and the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby since 2020. The increase has prompted the Trust, alongside Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Police, to urge people to treat staff with respect and kindness at all times and remind members of the public that we have a zero tolerance approach to abuse.

No Excuse for Abuse will see clinical and non-clinical workers step forward to share their stories and help spread the message that threatening behaviour is not an accepted part of anyone’s job, least of all someone who is giving care to those who need it most.

Sandra Mogano, a Senior Sister in the Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic at the Trust, has worked in the NHS for 43 years. She said: “A patient started verbally abusing me, shouting at me and calling me terrible names when they attended the clinic and it was closed. They went on to physically intimidate me by positioning themselves in front of me so that I couldn’t move and I was terrified and started crying. Luckily our security team was able to support me and ensured the patient left. No one should be made to feel like this when they are providing care for others and I fully support the introduction of this campaign and hope it makes people stop and think before choosing to be abusive, violent or aggressive.”

UHCW has a strict zero tolerance policy against anybody who is violent, aggressive or who threatens its staff while they are at work. Colleagues are encouraged to report all incidents of abuse when they happen so that immediate and appropriate action can be taken.

The campaign follows the launch of body-worn cameras in the Emergency Department at University Hospital, Coventry earlier this year to help deter attendees from being aggressive and help identify and prosecute any offenders.

Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive Officer at UHCW NHS Trust, said: “Our staff are tirelessly working to care for people in need during what continues to be an incredibly challenging year. I know the vast majority of patients and families are appreciative of their efforts, but some can be abusive and intimidating. This is an ongoing issue but has got worse since the start of the pandemic. My message is clear: we will not tolerate any violence, abusive behaviour or intimidation towards our staff. Please be kind and understanding to those working in our hospitals and community settings.”

 

Dame Stella Manzie, Chair at UHCW NHS Trust, added: “No health worker should feel undermined or devalued for trying to help others or because of their race, disability, sexual orientation, beliefs or transgender identity. We are united in our response to patients who either reject care from a member of our staff because of their own prejudices or subject our colleagues to verbal or physical abuse. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all our colleagues and will use all means possible to protect them and every mechanism at our disposal including legal options.”

 

For more information on the campaign, please visit www.uhcw.nhs.uk or follow the Trust on Facebook, Twitter  and Instagram.


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