Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has called on the Government and the HSE to do more to protect nursing staff as they go about their work caring for their patients. Teachta Crowe was responding to HSE figures revealed that over 3,400 nurses had been assaulted in our hospitals since the start of 2021.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Shocking figures released by the HSE reveal that since the beginning of 2021, more than 3,400 nurses have been assaulted in our hospitals. If we consider all staff, then that figure goes up to 5,600 incidents of physical, verbal and sexual assault. These figures were provided to my Sinn Féin colleague David Cullinane TD in response to a parliamentary question.

“In talking about her experience, one nurse described the accident and emergency department as ‘a pressure cooker’, with ‘aggression causing junior nurses to quit’, while she no longer feels safe in her workplace.

“It is completely unacceptable that any worker but particularly those in the caring profession should have endure abuse and assault for simply carrying out their duties.

“Overcrowding in our hospitals is in the words of the president of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Karen McGowan, ‘a recipe for disaster’, which has increased anxiety and the risk of aggression.

“The Government and HSE must put measures in place as a matter of urgency to ensure the safety of all our nurses and hospital staff. To relieve the obvious tension and pressure cooker atmosphere particularly in A&E, we also need to urgently bring forward a plan to tackle waiting times and overcrowding.

“Assaults and abuse must stop. Attacks on nurse and other staff has to end. Anything else is unacceptable.”