• The discrepancy between actual and unreported incidents of violence in a learning disability nursing service

      Skellern, Joanne; Lovell, Andy; University of Chester (South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust and the University of Huddersfield, 2008-10)
      This study reports on research carried out within the Learning Disability Division of a major Mental Health NHS Trust in the North of England, and relates to the discrepancy between the actual number of incidents of violence and aggression and those reported. The literature review demonstrated that violence is a particular issue for nurses, particularly those working in the areas of mental health and learning disability where studies have indicated that as many as one in five may be affected. A questionnaire was distributed to all learning disability nurses currently employed in the Trust, a total of 411, with a response rate in excess of 40%. The study revealed that a discrepancy does exist between actual and reported incidents of violence within the Trust. It confirmed previous claims that the predominant difficulty is cultural, violence being regarded as part of the job and non-reporting primarily revolving around perceptions of incidents being considered 'minor', not worth the time to complete the paperwork. The paper concludes that more work is needed to achieve a united, consistent approach across the NHS, in order that a high quality, accessible service for people with learning disabilities and complex needs can be delivered without violence being considered an acceptable part of the job.