Nurses from psychiatric units at a Scots hospital claim four members of staff have gone off sick after being assaulted by patients.

One worker is understood to have a broken collarbone while others are believed to have injuries including bruised ribs.

Staff from the acute admissions unit and the intensive psychiatric care unit at Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock have accused bosses of understaffing their departments.

And they claim that they have been forced to deal with patients armed with potential weapons.

Union officials believe the situation at the hospital is so serious “staff and patients are at genuine risk of serious injury or long-term damage to their health and well-being”. Union officials claim four were assaulted but the NHS insist the figure is two.

Trade union Unison is demanding NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) takes action to address a catalogue of concerns.

In a letter to CEO Jane Grant, the union said: “Attempts by local stewards to raise concerns and reach resolutions have been unsuccessful.

 

“Members have requested that Unison raise their concerns and call for an urgent independent task force response to ensure that staff, patients and the public are provided with a safe environment.”

The union also claim a patient brought from prison was admitted with “numerous knives and razor blades attached to his person”.

Unison’s Matt McLaughlin said: “If people are being delivered to these units equipped to cause harm then someone could be killed. I hope that doesn’t happen but it will be on the health board if it does occur.”

Labour’s health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said: “It’s shocking that little is being done to protect health workers.”

NHSGGC said: “We take very seriously any assaults or acts of violence against our staff and have a dedicated team of experts who train and support staff in techniques to reduce and manage violence.

“We have recently successfully recruited five new members of staff to join the team which will reduce the requirement for additional bank or agency staff to support the team.”

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