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NHS launch Security Awareness Month

12 October 2007

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Earlier this year the NHS SMS conducted a pilot across five PCT areas to test how reporting procedures for violence and abuse were being used in primary care settings, and how reporting could be improved.

The pilot revealed that there was little knowledge or use of the new reporting systems in primary care settings, and therefore the NHS Security Management Service will be conducting a long term communications programme to ensure that violence and abuse in those settings is reported. This will help us deal with the wider problems and act on individual cases. Aims are:

· To identify and increase the reporting of violent and abusive incidents in primary care settings.
· To identify and increase the number of prosecutions against offenders.
· To illustrate the NHS SMS’s commitment to tackling violence and abuse in primary care.

Since 2003, the NHS SMS has established structures and procedures in the NHS to allow the accurate and timely reporting of physical assaults.  This has not only allowed meaningful statistics to be compiled for the first time, but has also allowed action to be taken against offenders

The creation of the local security management specialists (LSMSs), to oversee security issues in every health body, means there is now a single point of contact in each PCT area to report violence to.  This staff member can liaise with police and is trained to ensure that appropriate action is taken. They can advise GPs on appropriate security measures they can take, such as providing conflict resolution training

A national reporting structure (the Physical Assault Reporting System, or PARS) was set up to ensure that cases of this nature are reported to the NHS SMS, and appropriate action considered.  The NHS SMS has also signed ‘get tough’ agreements with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service to commit all three organisations to work together investigating all reported cases of physical assault

All NHS SMS documents referred to can be viewed at