There are almost 40 attacks on staff at Cork University Hospital every year, new figures reveal.
Data provided to the Evening Echo shows the dangers faced by staff in the workplace at CUH, with some 394 staff attacks recorded in the last decade.
INMO chiefs say that it is contributing to a workplace that nursing staff don’t want to work in.
There have been nearly 10,000 attacks on acute hospital staff across Ireland in the past decade, over 70% of which were against nurses.
Of these, 394 were in CUH.
A spokesperson for the South/South-West Hospital Group said: “Cork University Hospital has 394 reported incidents of physical assault against hospital staff over the last 10 years.
“The safety of both staff and patients is a priority for the Cork University Hospital management team.”
“The Emergency Department in Cork University Hospital has security present 24/7 with a number of staff carrying personal alarms,” a spokesperson said.
“All lone workers are offered personal alarms. Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMAV) Training is available to all staff. All security staff attend PMAV training.”
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation representatives told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health earlier this month that nurses face massive overcrowding in emergency departments, with a record high of 714 patients on trolleys one day this year.
The INMO highlighted that these conditions have resulted in an environment that nurses do not want to work in.
The union warned that Irish graduates will seek employment abroad where conditions and pay are superior.
“The INMO have raised concerns regarding security presence within the department previously on behalf of our members,” said INMO Industrial Relations Officer for Cork, Liam Conway who said he agreed that the safety of both staff and patients is a priority for CUH management.
“An agreement in relation to increased vigilance and presence within the department was agreed,” he explained.
“It is imperative that our members on the frontline are working in a safe environment with the appropriate health and safety measures in place.”
This story fiorst appeared in the Evening Echo