According to figures released today, over 62% of assaults reported to the HSE in the first quarter of this year were carried out against nurses and midwives.
Speaking on the latest figures, INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Over 848 nurses and midwives were assaulted in the first quarter of this year. This is completely unacceptable. No other profession sees this level of abuse levelled at them.
“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 Health and Safety Authority must be equipped with the resources to help tackle assault in healthcare settings. Once again this week, the INMO has called for more inspections and prosecutions of employers who fail to keep staff safe. There must be a dedicated division established within the HSA to deal directly with the health service.
“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. 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.”