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Reducing Violence and Aggression in A&E

Professor Jonathan Benger & Dr Sarah Voss, University of the West of England, and UHBristol

Led by Design council UK, in partnership with Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation TrustandUniversity Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Violence and aggression towards frontline hospital staff is estimated to cost the NHS at least £69 million a year in staff absence, loss of productivity and additional security (

"Reducing Violence and Aggression in A&E", is a national project funded jointly by the Design Council and Department of Health, to which Professor Benger provided applied clinical and academic leadership.

The underlying goal ofReducing violence and aggression in A&Eis to identify and develop ways that design can help to minimise violence and aggression towards NHS staff, with a particular focus on A&E departments. Specifically, the project has aimed to generate cost-effective, easily implementable and sustainable design-led innovations, which can be used to:

  • Support NHS staff and organisations to reduce the amount of violence and aggression towards their staff
  • Directly or indirectly reduce the amount of violence and aggression in A&E and, in doing so, reduce the associated litigation costs to the NHS to compensate staff, patients and other service users making claims.
  • Deliver tangible cost savings, reducing the actual and associated costs of violence and aggression to the NHS
  • Help bolster staff confidence and satisfaction by making real and perceived improvements to healthcare environments and facilities
  • Help deliver improved patient care through calmer environments
  • Generate awareness to support a culture for NHS staff and patients, focusing on mutual trust and respect.

A range of A&E Departments throughout England have adopted the project's findings, with more to follow over the next 12 months (2014), including UHBristol. The Design Council has recently evaluated the impact of this initiative, and held a national day to promote the findings of its evaluation of implementation on 28th November 2013.

Further information is available on the Design Council website: