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Health Professionals: Crimes of Violence

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to support staff who are assaulted in the line of duty. (124278)

[holding answer 5 March 2007]: In April 2003 the NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS) was created and assumed responsibility for tackling violence against national health service staff, together with all other security related issues in the NHS in England. A comprehensive strategy has been implemented detailing both preventative and re-active action to be taken to tackle this problem both nationally and locally.

Guidance has been issued to every health body in England setting out the support that should be offered at a local level, including arranging for counselling services if required, to staff that have experienced violence and abuse.

The NHS SMS have formed a legal protection unit (LPU) which advises health bodies on the appropriate action to take against alleged offenders. The LPU also considers private prosecutions on behalf of those who have been assaulted where the prosecuting authorities have declined to take action, and the circumstances are such that action is appropriate. This includes seeking redress.