The Trust has launched Operation Cavell to increase prosecutions of those who assault NHS workers.

Experts from the Trust, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police, and Crown Prosecution Service are working together to improve the prosecution rates in criminal investigations following assaults on NHS workers.

Operation Cavell is a pilot scheme that will help protect health workers on the frontline. The operation will ensure senior investigators review all crimes against NHS workers and volunteers, and will use the experience of specialised and dedicated police investigators.

The scheme will run for an introductory period of four months and cover investigations into assaults on emergency workers at St Mary’s Hospital and amongst Ambulance and Community services' staff.

Over the last three years, the number of violent attacks on people providing health and social care services was three times higher than in other industries. Violent assaults against NHS staff are rising, with around 75,000 people each year experiencing physical violence & aggression from patients, relatives or the public.

Behaving violently or aggressively towards health and social care workers is unacceptable, and we are very pleased to be part of this scheme. Most members of our community value the services they receive and respect those who provide them - we are sure that patients, service users and their families and friends will support the steps we are taking to protect our colleagues.

Rob Jubb, Head of Health, Safety and Security, at the Trust said:

“Our staff and volunteers should be able to come to work without fear of violence, injury, abuse or harassment.

"As an organisation, the safety, health and wellbeing of our colleagues is of paramount importance to us. I am very pleased to be launching Operation Cavell and hope it will improve support for all of our dedicated frontline staff. Working closely with our colleagues in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and the Crown Prosecution Service will help ensure that appropriate sanctions are pursued.

“Assaults on our staff or volunteers is totally unacceptable - they are people dedicated to helping others and preventing harm. NHS workers are facing incredible challenges at the moment; they should not have to face the additional concern of abuse or assault. This operation is a way of showing our brave frontline workers that they are being supported.

“All those involved will be carefully monitoring the results and, just as importantly, seeking feedback from those affected. We want to make sure we learn the lessons, from both successes and failures, and ensure that continuous improvement is at the heart of this operation.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said:

“The CPS is very clear that disgraceful attacks on emergency workers, particularly at a time of national emergency, will not be tolerated. This important work with our NHS and police partners shows our joint commitment to protecting health workers, who must be able go about their critical work without threat of physical harm. No one should be in any doubt that these attacks will be met with a strong multi-agency response and the consequences will be serious.”

The Operation Cavell pilot will address criminal investigations of assault on NHS workers across the Island by:

  • ensuring all crimes are dealt with by specialised and dedicated police investigators
  • utilising the knowledge of police investigators who have previous experience consulting, supporting or liaising with the NHS
  • assigning senior investigators to review all assaults against NHS staff and volunteers
  • monitoring and assessing case management performance with the police and Crown Prosecution Service via regular multi-agency reviews
  • obtaining NHS ‘staff satisfaction’ ratings for each crime reported to police.