Concern as thousands of NHS staff injured at work

T ens of thousands of NHS staff have been injured at work in recent years. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
T ens of thousands of NHS staff have been injured at work in recent years. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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Tens of thousands of NHS staff have been injured at work in recent years - including more than 300 incidents in the Lothians where medical staff have been bitten.

There were 35,372 reported injuries between 2011 and 2013, although figures dropped from over 12,400 a year to 10,529 in 2013.

Injuries include physical violence, assaults with a weapon, staff knocked unconscious, punctures with dirty needles and bites - including animal bites, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats show.

NHS Lothian reported 370 incidents where a member of staff has been bitten.

The injuries reported across Scotland also included incidents involving biohazards, electric shocks, burns, crushing injuries, injuries by flying or falling objects, scratches, lacerations, dislocated limbs, fractures, infections, contact with mucus, sprains, strains, slips, trips and falls.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume said: “Whilst our health boards operate vigorous accident reporting and prevention systems we know that accidents can occur because of potentially unsafe behaviour or conditions.

“Our figures have shown that NHS staff in Scotland suffered over 35,000 injuries whilst at work over the past three years.

“These include injuries from needles, stress, and slips, trips and falls. It is worrying that violence against staff also remains a high cause of injury.

“Injuries come at great cost to the running of our hospitals, but more importantly they can cost lives. Ministers must work with health boards to reduce these injuries.”