[holding answer 15 May 2007]: In April 2003 the National Health Service Security Management Service (NHS SMS) was created and assumed responsibility for tackling violence against NHS 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 to all NHS staff, including nurses that have experienced violence and abuse.
The guidance directs the executive director responsible for security locally to ensure full co-operation with investigations into incidents of violence and abuse and it details the requirements to ensure that the person assaulted is kept informed of the progress and outcome of an investigation.
In addition the guidance includes the requirement for staff to be made aware of the support services available to them such as counselling and referral to an occupational health practitioner.