Social workers need to start taking legal action against their employers when they are assaulted at work, a Conservative Party candidate and youth worker told Community Care Live yesterday.
Shaun Bailey, Tory candidate for Hammersmith and co-founder of My Generation, a charity working with young people in west London, urged social workers to take measures that would force the government to prioritise staff safety.
“Make your employers pay up and you will soon see action,” he told the annual Question Time session, chaired, as usual, by BBC presenter Jeremy Vine.
“It will show the government you are at risk and they will have to do something because they will not continue to pay out,” Bailey added.
Chief inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection Paul Snell said he backed proposals for a national system of reporting and monitoring of violent incidents against social care staff.
He added that such a system would provide a national picture, highlighting trends, which could be a “trigger for action”.
Currently the government has no figures on the number of assaults on social care staff. Following the death of social care worker Philip Ellison in Lancashire last month, Community Care contacted members of an expert taskforce set up by government to tackle violence against social care staff, which produced an action plan in 2001. A number warned that implementation of its measures had “fizzled out” and called on the government to revisit the issue.