NHS Tayside has launched a public campaign called ‘Respect Us’ aimed at tackling abusive behaviour towards staff.
The campaign responds to the 2017 NHS Scotland Dignity at Work Survey which reported that of those Tayside staff who responded, 30% had experienced verbal abuse and 10% had experienced physical abuse from a patient or visitor.
The ‘Respect Us’ campaign was launched by Chief Executive Lesley McLay, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development George Doherty, Violence and Aggression Manager John Neill, Police Scotland officers and staff from the Emergency Department at Ninewells Hospital.
Ms McLay said, “We are committed to providing a safe working environment for all staff members and this campaign reminds patients and visitors that our staff are here to help and physical or verbal abuse is unacceptable and can lead to prosecution.
“We take each and every incident extremely seriously as it is a fundamental right of our staff that they can carry out their duties without having to face any kind of violence or the threat of violence.
“Staff are actively encouraged to report all episodes, no matter how minor, on our electronic incident reporting system. We are guided by Police Scotland when acting on incidents but NHS Tayside is committed to investigating cases and reinforcing staff safety.”
PC Liam McLean from Police Scotland said, “NHS staff do their upmost to provide the best care possible to patients and are respectful to all members of the public. All members of staff should receive the same respect in return and not have to face any sort of physical or mental abuse when carrying out their duties. Police Scotland treat any report of violence or threats very seriously and the last place this should be tolerated is in a care environment.”
A variety of staff members have been photographed for the campaign holding a sign saying #RespectUs. The images have been used for pop-up banners and posters which will be displayed in both public and patient areas in NHS sites across Tayside as well as being shared on social media.