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Over 4,000 nurses, midwives assaulted at work

Over 4,000 nurses and midwives were assaulted in the workplace during a 13-month period, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

It said new figures show 4,016 nurses were assaulted between January 2023 and February 2024.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the assaults were verbal, physical and sexual.

She also said this was a conservative figure, as many nurses and midwives do not report such incidents.

“On Worker’s Memorial Day we remember colleagues who died while going to work. One death in the workplace is one too many,” Ms Ní Sheaghdha said.

She called on the Health Service Executive (HSE) to “radically shift its focus” when it comes to the safety of its employees.

She said INMO members, the majority of whom are women, need to know that they can go about their jobs in a safe manner.

Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the HSE must “shift its focus” when it comes to employee safety (file image)

“Too many of our members have had career-ending or career-changing incidents happen to them in the line of their work through no fault of their own. Far too often it is the overcrowded conditions that they are working in that is to blame,” Ms Ní Sheaghdha said.

“It is imperative that each hospital reflects on its own security arrangements and what they are doing to keep nurses, midwives and other frontline healthcare workers safe while at work.

“We welcome the positive response to our request to establish an advisory division for health and social care services within the Health and Safety Authority. Our expectations are high and we will work with the HSA to ensure it has the same transformative impact on healthcare worker safety as it has had in the construction and farming sectors.”

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