HSE ebulletin: Managing violence and aggression and MSDs in the NHS

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HSE ebulletin

Managing violence and aggression and MSDs in the NHS

The report on the inspection programme, which was carried out between 2018 and 2022, assessed the management of risk from V&A and MSDs in NHS trusts and boards.

It identified management failings in 4 broad areas:

  • risk assessment
  • training
  • roles and responsibilities
  • monitoring and review 

In general, the inspections found that while NHS employers do have policies and procedures in place, the problem is that they are often not monitored or reviewed to ensure that they work in practice or remain effective.


HSE’s findings have been shared with NHS Chief Executives of NHS boards and trusts across Great Britain, NHS stakeholder groups and NHS unions.


Where breaches of the law were found during the inspections, measures have been taken including the issuing of Improvement Notices. 


In order to be assured that suitable action has been taken, HSE will be carrying out further inspections with the NHS over the next 12 months, focusing on the key areas identified in the report.


HSE’s website has guidance on violence at work to help protect workers. The guidance defines V&A at work and explains what you can do to prevent it, and how you can protect workers from it. 


HSE also has guidance on managing musculoskeletal disorders risk at work to assist in protecting workers from the risks of MSDs being caused or made worse by work.


John Crookes, HSE's Head of Health and Social Care Services Sector, said: 'HSE recognises that those who work in the healthcare sector can be at risk from V&A and MSDs.


'We hope all NHS trusts and boards will take note of our findings and review their operations to check these risks are being managed effectively.'

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