A NURSING union has raised concern over the proportion of East Lancashire hospital staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from patients and their families.

The NHS Staff Survey results, published last week, showed 32 per cent of respondents at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust had experienced one of these things in the last year.

Steve Flanagan, regional director for the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This could help explain why so many staff report suffering work-related stress. The trust must get to grips with this problem and do more to protect their staff to ensure that they can provide patient care without fear of abuse.

“NHS England and the local NHS Commissioners also need to co-ordinate the sharing of best practice across all of our trusts in the region, and to build appropriate performance measures into the contracting of services.”

As reported last week, the survey suggested just half of Royal Blackburn and Burnley General staff would be happy for the hospitals to treat their friends and family.

The trust performed well on several other measures however.