At the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Biennial Delegate Conference, members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation have spoken out against violence in the workplace.
INMO Executive Council member, Lynda Deane said:
“Any assault on a worker while they are trying to do their job is unacceptable.
“Figures obtained through the HSE’s National Incident Management Scheme show that in 2020 over 8,667 staff reported physical, verbal and sexual assault in the workplace. Nurses and midwives made up 48% of this cohort with 4,166 nurses and midwives reporting some type of assault.
“We need to know what measures are being put in place to protect a largely female work force? The employer’s remit is to provide a safe workplace. This level of reported incidence is completely unacceptable.
“As a midwife, I know that many of my colleagues do not report many of the incidents that take place in our hospitals because they do not have the time to do so.
“Our hardworking staff are firefighting on so many fronts at the moment. We need assurances that our employer is taking measures to protect nurses and midwives seriously because the rise in incidents of assault is a serious cause of concern.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha added:
“Our hospitals are not just full, they are overcrowded and this creates a pressure cooker type environment. With that frustration can run high and a tiny minority unacceptably attack staff. This means that frontline staff are being put at risk for conditions they are not responsible for.
“With proper staffing, care would be faster and better, which would ensure tensions in hospitals don’t build up."