The experience of violence at work in community learning disability teams


Researchers in the south east of England set out to look at the experiences of violence at work in of staff in community learning disability teams.

Following a brief survey sent to six such teams, the experiences were explored further in a series of in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of respondents.

The survey suggested that that 34% of respondents had experienced some form of verbal or physical aggression at work during the previous six months. The themes that emerged from the analysis of responses focused on the types of risks faced by these staff; factors that helped with risk assessment and management, including some concerns expressed about why such things do not always happen and the way in which workers developed skills in managing such risks.

The authors then discuss the implications of their findings in relation to gaps in training and the potential role of informal learning processes in addressing the specific needs of community staff as indentified in the research.

Experiences of violence at work in community intellectual disability teams, Daynes S et al., in Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 5, 3, 6-14

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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