NHS Rotherham staff abused 325 times this year, with nurses categorically affected worst  

by | Nov 18, 2023

Image: Hospital stock image

Nurses at Rotherham General Hospital disproportionately face greater abuse compared to other staff, the Rotherham Reveal can report. 

Staff experience a range of abuse, including physical, verbal and sexual harassment at alarming rates. 

A graph indicating reported incidents of physical abuse against NHS Rotherham staff between 2018 & 2023.

In the response to an FOI request the Rotherham Reveal had put to the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, it was revealed that staff were physically abused 135 times this year alone. 

Of those, 77 were against staff whose role wasn’t recorded and 22 against registered nurses, as well as healthcare assistants. 

A graph indicating reported incidents of verbal abuse against NHS Rotherham staff between 2018 & 2023.

Although verbal abuse has sharply declined over the last five years, it still occurs at high rates.

Seventy-seven incidents of verbal abuse have been recorded so far this year, with nurses once again facing the highest levels of abuse. Of the 77 incidents, 22 were against nurses, 43 were against unspecified staff and 5 against administrative staff.

Although instances of physical and verbal abuse are either on the decline or haven’t increased over the past few years, disruptive and aggressive behaviour has and is projected to rise. 

A graph indicating reported incidents of disruptive & aggressive behaviour towards NHS Rotherham staff between 2018 & 2023.

Of the 89 cases of disruptive and aggressive behaviour that have been reported this year so far, over half of it were towards staff whose role was unrecorded, a 31% increase compared to last year. 

Disruptive and aggressive behaviour towards nurses increased by 15% this year, from 20 cases to 23 individual incidents. 

Concerns over NHS staff safety arose earlier in the year when staff at the Sheffield Northern General Hospital were “threatened”, prompting security measures to be tightened. 

NHS staff working at Rotherham General also faced an increased number of attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, which can be seen in the spikes in the graphs between the years 2020 and 2021.