Union survey reveals extent of violence faced by welfare staff


A major survey of more than 4000 workers by the FOA trade union shows that 35% of employees in the health and care sector have experienced threats of violence in the past year. This compares to only 6% for the general population. Some 30% say that they have been subjected to physical violence. The union is worried that the real figures may be even higher as it believes many employees have come to accept that violence and threats are part of the job. The evidence indicates that the most vulnerable places of work are psychiatry, nursing homes and special and disability areas. FOA highlights the fact the problem also impacts recruitment and retention of staff and that preventive measures can be undermined by high staff turnover.

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