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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
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# healthcare workers
Over 800 nurses and midwives assaulted in first three months of 2023
Over 62% of all assaults reported to the HSE in the first quarter were carried out against nurses and midwives.

MORE THAN 848 nurses and midwives were assaulted in the first quarter of 2023, new figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show.

Over 62% of all assaults reported to the HSE in the first quarter of this year were carried out against nurses and midwives.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha has described the figures as “completely unacceptable”.

“No other profession sees this level of abuse levelled at them,” she said.

“The continued acceptance of intolerable hospital overcrowding is creating an environment in our hospitals that is allowing physical, verbal and sexual assault against our members to manifest.”

The INMO is calling on the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to take action through more inspections. The organisation also demands that employers who “fail to keep staff safe” be prosecuted.

A dedicated division of the HSA should be established to deal with the health service, they say.

“While we welcome legislation announced to increase maximum sentences for assaulting frontline workers, more must be done to enhance the safety of our members and their colleagues in their workplaces,” Ní Sheaghdha added.

“We need to see an up to date and actionable security review across all hospital sites. Assault prevention and de-escalation measures must be strengthened.

“It must be made clear that once you step foot in a hospital that there is zero tolerance for any kind of verbal, physical or sexual assault.

“Hospitals are workplaces, as well as places of care. No worker should have to put up with this level of abuse in the workplace.”

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