The WWL Way
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Zero Tolerance towards Violence and Aggression

Newsdate: 11 July 2014

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust views its staff as its most valuable asset. Therefore, any abuse – both physical and verbal - towards our staff is totally unacceptable. Staff are encouraged to report all incidents of harassment and violence to our Security Team.

In April 2011, NHS Protect was established to lead on work to safeguard NHS staff and resources from crime. They provide support, advice and guidance to organisations across the NHS. We are working in partnership with NHS Protect and Greater Manchester Police to establish a safe and secure environment to protect our staff from violence, harassment and abuse.

Police assistance will always be requested when violent incidents occur and WWL will support staff that wish to bring prosecutions against the offenders, who are responsible for acts of violence and aggression against our staff.

A recent case heard at Wigan Magistrates court resulted in June Anita Saunders, 39, of Newton, Wigan, being found guilty of anti-social behaviour towards WWL staff. Ms Saunders received a Community Order with 18 months supervision and instructed to undergo alcohol treatment.

Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for environment said: “Violence towards NHS staff has been a growing issue over the last few years and still continues to seriously affect the health service. It saddens me to hear of such cases, in which individuals who provide care to residents of the borough become victims of violent crimes and I hope that the recent prosecution is an example to all residents of the borough, that violence toward NHS staff will not be tolerated. Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Police are working together alongside the NHS in order to eradicate this issue."

Jason Carr, Security and Car Parks Manager said “It is hoped that doctors, nurses and all staff at WWL will feel significantly reassured that our on-going work - to provide a safe, effective and caring environment - has resulted in sanctions being opposed on offenders, as in this case. The consequence of this and previous cases is a result of our closer working relationships with GMP and Wigan Council”

Superintendent Jacqui Pendlebury of GMP’s Wigan Division said: “We are working closely with Wigan Council and the NHS to tackle all forms of abuse, be it physical or verbal.  We would always urge staff to report any incidents, as we will investigate all cases thoroughly and take firm action if appropriate.”

WWL will no longer accept incidents of violent or aggressive behaviour to be seen as a normal part of the job. We believe all staff have a right to expect a safe and secure workplace.  Violent and aggressive incidents are the third biggest cause of injuries reported under RIDDOR from the health and social care sector. Our partnership with Greater Manchester Police and Wigan Council is continuing to establish robust systems which aim to reduce and prevent aggressive behaviour within our Trust.