NHS Lothian staff are coming under increasing daily attack from abusive and violent patients.
Health bosses have revealed that in the last seven months of 2011 every one of its eight hospitals dealt with abusive individuals on a number of occasions.
Thousands of work hours are lost each year due to physical injuries and stress.
The Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Western General required the aid of either police or security on 23 occasions.
Unison’s lead officer, Bridget Hunter, said: “We have concerns about staffing levels and think there is a correlation between the number of incidents and number of staff on duty. There is also a change in our society and what people believe they can get away with.”