What is Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA)?

Preventing and managing violence and aggression in healthcare settings

Violence and aggression in healthcare settings pose significant challenges to the safety and well-being of both patients and staff. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune delves into understanding that preventing and managing these incidents is crucial for maintaining a safe environment conducive to quality care delivery.

Key facts and statistics

Violence against healthcare workers is a growing concern globally, with incidents ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults. According to a report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), healthcare workers are at a higher risk of violence than those in other professions, highlighting the urgent need for effective prevention strategies.

Key definitions

  • Violence - Any incident where a person is abused, threatened, or assaulted in circumstances related to their work.
  • Aggression - Hostile or violent behaviour towards another person.

Relevant legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 - Employers must ensure their employees' health, safety, and welfare.
  • The NHS Zero Tolerance Policy - A commitment to tackle violence against staff and support victims.
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations - Applicable when managing medications that may alter patient behaviour.
  • Best practice guidelines - Include de-escalation techniques, staff training, and risk assessment protocols.

Understanding the causes of violence and aggression

In healthcare settings, factors such as long waiting times, substance abuse, mental health crises, and dementia can contribute to heightened emotions and potential aggression. Recognising these triggers is essential for proactive management.

Importance of training and preparedness

Comprehensive training in PMVA equips healthcare professionals with the skills to identify early warning signs, use non-physical interventions effectively, and apply physical restraint safely when necessary. This training not only protects staff but also ensures the dignity and well-being of patients.

Case studies and real-world scenarios

Illustrative examples can demonstrate the impact of effective PMVA strategies in reducing incidents and improving overall safety. These scenarios highlight the practical application of training and adherence to established protocols.


  • Invest in ongoing training - Regular refreshers on PMVA techniques and updates on relevant legislation.
  • Enhance security measures - Implement panic alarms, CCTV surveillance, and secure entry systems.
  • Promote a supportive culture - Encourage reporting of incidents and provide psychological support for affected staff.


Preventing and managing violence and aggression in healthcare settings demands a proactive approach rooted in robust training, adherence to legislative frameworks, and a supportive organisational culture. By prioritising safety and investing in comprehensive PMVA training, healthcare providers can mitigate risks, protect their workforce, and confidently deliver quality care.

Explore our comprehensive PMVA training courses at The Mandatory Training Group and equip your healthcare team with the essential skills to handle challenging situations effectively. Click here to learn more and schedule training sessions tailored to your organisational needs.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

What is Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA) - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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