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Red Card…Your Banned!

QMC recorded 1,800 incidents of aggression, violence and harassment during 2022-23.

Notting University Hospital recorded 1,806 incidents.

Staff have been hit, spat at, threatened, verbally and racially abused.

What are some of the main triggers for the abuse of staff:

  • Treating drunks

  • Rival gangs

  • People high on drugs

  • People with mental health problems

  • Homeless people, seeking a place of warmth

  • Delayed waiting times

Is the introduction of a ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ car system the answer?

Red card means they are banned from being treated.

Does banning patients who exhibits violent behaviours towards staff while they are experiencing physical or psychological pain pose a morale complex challenge for healthcare professionals?

The conflict arises from balancing the safety and needs of healthcare staff with their duty to provide care and support, even to those who display disruptive conduct and aggressive behaviours.

Emergency department Matron, Janice Morgan said, “I’ve had 3 threats to kill me.”

In the demanding environment of Emergency Departments (A&E), NHS, Ambulance services, and other care support services preventing and having to manage these behaviours is crucial to maintaining a safe and productive workplace.

Let’s look at various measures that can prevent these behaviours, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), reporting procedures, involvement of law enforcement, the role of prosecutions, necessary training, and welfare support for healthcare staff.

PPE Utilisation – properly equipping healthcare staff with appropriate PPE, including gloves, face shields, and other protective gear, is essential towards minimising the risk of physical harm during interactions with agitated patients.

De-escalation Training – implementing comprehensive de-escalation training programmes enables staff to effectively manage and defuse tense situations, reducing the likelihood of aggressive behaviours.

Physical Environment – designing A&E spaces with the consideration of patient privacy and comfort can contribute to a calmer environment, potentially decreasing instances of aggression.

Clear Protocols – establishing clear protocols for reporting aggressive behaviours ensures that incidents are documented promptly and accurately.

Incident Reporting Systems – implementing a centralised incident reporting system allows for efficient documentation, analysis, and appropriate follow-up on incidents involving aggressive, violent or abusive behaviours.

Chain of Reporting – staff should be aware of the hierarchy of reporting, ensuring that incidents are reported to the appropriate authorities, starting with immediate supervisors to higher management.

Assessment Criteria – determining specific criteria for involving law enforcement ensures a balanced and measured response to situations where the safety of staff is at risk.

Collaboration with appropriate authorities – establishing collaborative relationships with local law enforcement and other relevant agencies enables a swift and coordinated response to severe incidents.

Legal Recourse – while prosecutions may serve as a deterrent, they should be approached judiciously, considering the circumstances and the impact on staff morale.

Supportive Measures – prioritising the well-being of healthcare staff by providing counselling and mental health support can be equally important towards ensuring a resilient workforce.

Regular Updates – continuous training and updates on handling aggressive behaviours should be an integral part of the professional development of healthcare staff.

Scenario-based Training – conducting scenario-based training exercises allows staff to practice effective de-escalation techniques in a controlled environment.

Counselling Services – offering counselling services and mental health support ensures that staff have access to resources to cope with the emotional toll of aggressive incidents.

Peer Support Groups – establishing peer support programmes allows staff to share experiences and seek guidance from colleagues who may have faced similar situations.

Preventing abusive, aggressive and violent behaviours from patients towards healthcare staff in A&E, NHS, and Ambulance services and other related caring and support services requires a multifaceted approach.

The implementing proactive measures, clear reporting protocols, judicious involvement of law enforcement, careful consideration of legal actions, comprehensive training, and a robust welfare support process organisations will create a safer and more supportive environment for their dedicated healthcare professionals.

Choosing the Right Training Provider?

When it comes to preventing, managing or resolving potentially challenging or aggressive behaviour you will be aware of the risks to your staff and the people (children, youth and adults) that you support.

The risks can be minimised through analysing your data, due diligence and implementing effective and relevant training by choosing the right training provider 

The problem is finding the right provider and finding the time to do this.

This is where I can help you.

I want to offer you a solution that removes this problem, that’s completely FREE and can save you time and money whilst keeping your staff safe and providing solutions that reduces your liability.

Why choose Us?

As well as being an established trainer and consultant, I am a highly respected expert witness who attends tribunals, courts and inquests regarding matters relating to abusive, aggressive and violent behaviours, including the use of (reasonable) force.

This means I, along with my colleagues, can provide you with training that has been medically reviewed and is as legally defensible!

As a former head of Staff Safety Training for a major Police Service I have ongoing experience in developing, reviewing, evaluating nationally recognised training.

Arrange your ‘Free’ No Obligations Strategy Meeting

We need to ensure that our courses are actually the right fit for you and your colleagues.

Therefore, if you feel it would be helpful please book a strategy meeting (see below) so that we can learn more.

If you have any further questions, I would be happy to discuss them with you.

Please let me know when you are free to discuss by booking a strategy meeting or consultation via my calendar, or call me at your convenience.

I look forward to hearing from you at -


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