24 Jan 2022

SHOCK: Over 4000 assaults on Irish nurses and midwives last year, says INMO

SHOCK: Over 4000 assaults on Irish nurses and midwives last year, says INMO

SHOCK: Over 4000 assaults on Irish nurses and midwives last year, says INMO

An Irish nurses group has called for more protection at work after over 4000 nurses and midwives reported assault last year. 

The call comes after a recent trade unions conference, where members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) spoke out against violence in the workplace.

Executive Council Member, Lynda Moore, called assaults on workers trying to do their job "unacceptable". 

She said, "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. [The] level of reported incidence is completely unacceptable." 

According to Ms Moore, figures obtained through the HSE's National Incident Management Scheme shows 4,166 nurses and midwives reported some type of assault in 2020. 

It's part of a larger figure of 8,667 staff reporting physical, verbal and sexual assault in the workplace, with nurses and midwives making up 48% of this cohort.  

Ms Moore continued: "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, believes proper staffing would lead to faster and better care, which would in turn ensure tensions in hospitals don't build up. 

She 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." 


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