Almost 90% of assaults recorded in HSE hospitals so far this year have been against nurses, new figures have revealed.
The figures were released to Sinn Fein TD, Louise O'Reilly, in a parliamentary question and cover the period January 1 to June 12, 2019.
They show that during this time period, there have been 279 assaults in HSE hospitals, with 89% of these against nurses. The figures do no include voluntary hospitals, private hospitals or other health services outside of HSE hospitals.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), understaffing, under capacity and overcrowding have created a ‘pressure cooker environment'.
"Any assault on a frontline health worker is completely unacceptable. Nurses are clearly bearing the brunt of assaults facing nearly 90% of attacks, but these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more assaults go unreported, as nurses are often too busy to stop work and do the paperwork.
"The statistics also do not include voluntary hospitals, where problems are likely just as bad," commented INMO general secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha.
She added that patients can get frustrated with services, but that with proper staffing, care would be ‘faster and better', which would help to ensure that tensions do not build up.
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