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at risk

Nurses are the victims in 70% of assaults in Irish hospitals

Figures from the HSE show how frequently nursing staff are assaulted.

OVER THE LAST ten years, nurses have been victims of 70% of assaults on hospital workers, according to HSE figures.

The data released to Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly have revealed that 10,744 staff members reported an assault, more than 7,500 of those were nurses.

The assaults ranged from near misses to actual harm.

O’Reilly has said that these figures are “unacceptable” calling for hospitals to take greater steps to ensure the safety of its staff.

 This year alone, 61% of total assaults reported were from Nurses.

“Nurses play a key role in the delivery of our public health services, and for them to face such high levels of assault is completely unacceptable,” O’Reilly said in a statement.

PastedImage-12957 HSE HSE

A further breakdown of the figures shows medical staff were victims in 291 cases and catering and housekeeping staff were victims in 145 cases.

Assaults in hospitals were recorded in each of the six hospital groups, with the Royal College of Surgeons/Dublin North East Hospital Group and the Saolta West/North West group having the most assaults so far this year with 195 assaults each.

In releasing the figures to Deputy Reilly, the HSE’s Head of National Health and Safety function Nicolas Parkinson wrote that training in the management of violence and aggression is offered in all of its services. 

“Ensuring the safety of employees and service users is a priority concern for the HSE. The HSE is committed to creating a safe environment within which to work or be treated. There is an emphasis on training and equipping the workforce effectively with skills on risk identification and the management of violence and aggression,” Parkinson wrote. 

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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