More than 2,000 verbal and physical incidents carried out by patients have been logged by Watford General Hospital staff over a five-year period.

Figures obtained through a Watford Observer freedom of information request revealed a total of 2,364 records were made between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2022.

Of this figure, 615 cases were listed in 2022 – the highest yearly figure from the five-year time frame.

This was up by 142 in 2021 where 473 incidents were recorded, the second highest number of incidents logged.

The lowest number recorded was 392 in 2020.

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Figures showed that nursing staff were on the receiving end of the most verbal or physical assaults.

Between January 1, 2018, and June 31, 2022, when numbers were recorded by job role, 879 incidents were logged by staff nurses, 325 cases were by documented by healthcare assistants and, 318 were recorded by ward sisters.   

Herts Advertiser: Nursing staff logged more incidents than any other job roleNursing staff logged more incidents than any other job role (Image: RADAR)

A West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust's spokesperson said: “We have a zero-tolerance approach to violence and take any form of abuse against our staff very seriously.

“Staff work extremely hard in often challenging circumstances, and we take care of them by providing a wellbeing support service which they can access 24/7.”

The trust has been asked why it thinks 2022 had such a rise in assaults logged.