In the same week that paranoid schizophrenic Ronald Dixon was detained indefinitely for stabbing inexperienced mental health worker Ashleigh Ewing to death, the Local Government Association revealed there were 4,000 assaults on care staff in 12 councils in one year. Extrapolate this across England and that’s the equivalent of 50,000 assaults. No wonder two-thirds of the 400 social workers who voted in our web poll this week want self-defence training.
Six years after the national task force on violence against social care staff published an action plan, there are no tangible improvements. Ewing’s parents want answers, crucially to why their daughter was alone with Dixon who had a violent history. A community psychiatric nurse had recommended he shouldn’t be visited by fewer than two people. There are no excuses for compromising staff safety.