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Environment Home Safety

Aggression Towards Staff

Policy Statement

This policy is intended to set out the values, principles and policies underpinning this care service’s approach to aggression and violence towards staff.

This service considers that staff should be safe at work and should not be exposed to undue or unreasonable risk. It believes that staff must be able to work safely, free from the threat of injury or upset through acts of aggression and violence.

Attacks on staff at work are, fortunately, very rare and the agency does all it can to minimise this risk still further and ensure that staff are as safe as possible. However, the agency recognises that such events do unfortunately occur and where even a small risk exists then it understands that it has a duty to ensure that staff are properly trained and supported to deal with such incidents.

This policy should be read in conjunction with all policies and procedures relating to the safe use of restraint and to the safeguarding of service users from abuse. This agency will not tolerate abuse in any shape or form and will carefully monitor all incident reports relating to violence or the use of restraint to ensure that both staff and service users are being appropriately protected.

Policy

This policy applies to all staff without exception.

  1. Managers will assess the risk of violence or security risks during the initial needs assessment of a client and implement or negotiate appropriate control measures. The assessment will include the possible presence of potentially dangerous animals on the premises.
  2. Managers will avoid the need for lone working whenever possible and identify visits that should not be carried out by lone home care workers.
  3. Managers will improve information gathering and sharing with other agencies about clients or families with a history of violence.
  4. Staff will work to minimise the risk of, and avoid the occurrence of, aggression and violence at all times.
  5. Staff are expected to always adopt a confident, calm, professional approach that demonstrates understanding, empathy and respect.
  6. Violence against staff will not be tolerated.
  7. The agency has in place systems to record incidents of violence against staff.
  8. All violent incidents, no matter how minor, will be reported by staff to their managers at the time they occur or as soon as possible thereafter.
  9. Any service user or other person who acts in a violent or abusive manner towards staff will be challenged as appropriate regarding their unacceptable behaviour.
  10. In the case of a service user who acts in a violent or abusive manner towards staff their plan of care will be reviewed and discussed with them and changes agreed.
  11. Managers will ensure that supervisors of home care workers have details of their itinerary at all times.

Responding to Violent Situations

In the event of a violent or aggressive incident, staff should adhere to the following procedure.

  1. The first priority of staff must be for their own safety and for the safety of other staff and service users.
  2. Staff should immediately try to summon help, preferably from their manager or person on call; in most cases by using a mobile phone.
  3. Staff should try to calm the situation wherever possible, talking to the potential aggressor calmly, trying to find out what is wrong — staff should try not to get angry and should never shout back.
  4. Where the level of threat continues to increase and staff feel that they are in imminent danger then they should try to escape (with other people who also could be in danger) and get help.
  5. Where a member of staff is actually attacked then they are permitted to defend themselves but they must use only the “minimum reasonable force” to do this.
  6. In the event of an actual physical assault, or if the incident involves an intruder to the person’s home, then the police should be called as soon as possible.

Where the “attacker” in a violent situation is a service user and the situation requires some form of restraint then action should be taken in line with the physical intervention by staffpolicy.

Reporting and Support

  1. Any violent or abusive incidents towards staff, no matter how minor, must be reported at once to the manager who should make a record in the incident book.
  2. Staff involved should complete and submit an incident form.
  3. Appropriate support will be offered by the manager to employees who are involved in violent or aggressive incidents.
  4. Violent or aggressive incidents, even if they just amount to being shouted at, can be very upsetting for a member of staff and, in extreme cases, can lead to them suffering psychological trauma or illness — staff should therefore be given the opportunity to discuss their experience.
  5. In extreme cases the agency understands that there may be a need for ongoing support and referral to occupational health services or professional counselling.
  6. Where absence from work arises from a violent or aggressive incident, any such absence will be treated as special leave rather than sickness absence.

Where the original incident did not involve the police the management must make a decision in each case about whether or not to report the incident to the Care Quality Commission under its notification procedures and/or, where the protection of service users is involved, the local Safeguarding Adults Board. The nature and severity of the incident will be carefully considered along with any criminal intent and assessment of future threat.

The agency’s management will always seek the approval and consent of the member of staff attacked before making any decision about reporting the incident to the police or other authorities. However, it will report the matter without the victim’s consent where it deems this to be the correct action to take in the public interest or to protect other people from possible abuse.

Monitoring

The appropriate manager will review all reports of aggression and violence or potential aggression and violence and look for any trends or patterns or lessons to be learned. This is done with reference to the agency’ssecurity policy and might require a review of security procedures and precautions.

Managers will carefully monitor all incident reports relating to violence or the use of restraint to ensure that both staff and service users are being appropriately protected. Any suspicion of abuse by staff or by others, or any whistleblowing by other staff, will be investigated and acted upon in accordance with the agency’s safeguarding policies.

This policy, and policies on restraint and abuse, should be regularly reviewed. If its policies and procedures are working adequately and are being properly applied the agency would expect violent incidents to be rare and the appropriate use of restraint to be a last resort used only in exceptional circumstances. The agency at all times requires the regular and proactive review of service user care plans to ensure that the most appropriate level of care is being provided and the use of restraint avoided.

Training

All staff are trained to recognise the early warning signs of potential aggression and in responding to panic alarms and pleas for assistance.

Dealing with aggressive or potentially violent service users is included in the induction training for all new staff.

In-house training sessions are conducted at least annually and all relevant staff will attend.

Care staff training includes guidance in the use of physical interventions and restraint in the care of service users.

Managers are trained in the management of violent or emergency situations and in appropriate post-incident follow-up.