Attacks by mental health patients on NHS staff at Wales’ largest health board have halved in five years.

Assaults on Betsi Cadwaladr staff fell from 559 in 2013-14 to 278 in 2017-18.

It attributed the fall to a team of specialist nurses who train carers and frontline staff in ways to avoid confrontation and improve care.

Ward manager Matt Jarvis, who was punched in the head by an “acutely psychotic” patient, said restraining people created distrust of staff.

Instead, people on the wards will attempt to talk down agitated patients or even distract them.

They are trained in how to restrain people, which is used if other efforts have failed.

Mr Jarvis, who works on a psychiatric intensive care ward, said: “We need to make sure we’re trying to understand the

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