A survey by carehome.co.uk has revealed that 17% of staff working in care homes responding to the poll received verbal abuse from the residents they were supporting, and 11% had been subject to physical abuse.

The poll of 2803 care home staff also found that 48% of care workers in care homes had been on the receiving end of both physical and verbal abuse from residents.

According to anecdotal evidence from the National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS), abuse of care home staff ranges from care workers being punched in the stomach as well as being spat at and hit with residents’ sticks.

Staff are also subjected to aggressive language and threats, and they say they are told to “just get on with it as it’s a part of the job”.

A carehome.co.uk spokesperson said all over the UK, care workers are doing physically and emotionally demanding jobs on often low pay and long hours but at the same time, “the rewards of working in care home can be huge, as you can build strong relationships with the people you care for and make deep, emotional connections”.

He said: “Lashing out at staff is often a sign of frustration and it is vital care homes give staff dementia training so they can find the reasons behind this challenging behaviour.

“Care workers do such an important job and with around three-quarters of people in care homes having dementia, it is vital care workers are given adequate support and specialist training to care for them.”

NACAS Chief Executive Karolina Gerlich said: “At the moment there is no legal requirement for in depth dementia or dealing with challenging behaviours training. This means that care workers who try their best to deliver great quality of care are not equipped with the right tools to conduct their duties safely.

“We have heard of care workers being hit, spat at and called names. It is not the fault of care workers or people receiving care. This is a system wide issue of mandatory training standards not matching the difficulties and skills required to provide great care safely.”

Last reviewed 14 May 2019