Health Minister Agrees To Investigate Assaults On Health Service Staff

The Minister for Health has agreed to investigate the issue of assaults on health service staff, after Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly TD raised the issue on Thursday, April 19.

Teachta O'Reilly raised the issue and pushed the Minister to agree to review security precautions in Emergency Departments across Ireland.

She highlighted the deteriorating state of the staff situation, and said that in particular "nursing and midwifery have become extremely high risk occupations in terms of aggression and physical assault".

"Between the 1st of January 2011 and the 27th of July 2016 the number of physical assaults on staff in acute hospitals increased from 673 to 3,462 – of these 65% of the injured parties are recorded as nursing and midwifery staff, not including psychiatric nurses," she said. "This equates to an average figure of 34 physical assaults on nurses and midwives in our hospitals every month.

"When you add in that the profession is 91% female it further reinforces this shocking state of affairs."

The Minister of Health will now work with health service organisations to provide a detailed report on the issue.

"I am glad that the Minister has agreed to my call for this situation to be investigated and has committed to me that he will engage with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the HSE to ensure that there are security staff in all Emergency Departments and to provide a report on the issue," concluded Deputy O'Reilly.


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