Challenging behaviours, violence and aggression are a huge concern in health and social care settings, but still the incidence of verbal and physical abuse towards staff continues to rise, reaching nearly 67,000 reported incidents in the period 2013 to 2014*. This continues to be the third biggest cause of reported injuries in health and social care workers.

It’s important that, as healthcare professionals, you understand how to predict, diffuse and manage incidents of violence and aggression in order to protect yourself and those around you. One of the most important skills to develop is an ability to recognise the triggers and to manage these warning signs.


NICE (2015) Violence and aggression: short-term management in mental health, health and community settings. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 October 2016]

Aggressive behaviour