HSE quiet on report into violence in social care

The HSE has yet to respond to a major report into violence in the social care profession in Ireland.

Almost 500 social care professionals were surveyed since 2014, with the study finding nine out of 10 workers were subjected to abuse, threats, and physical assault regularly.

Social Care Ireland (SCI) launched the report last Wednesday but a representative from the HSE was unable to attend, despite being notified several weeks previously.

The HSE employs approximately 2,500 social care workers either as direct employees or through funded services.

“We are still very disappointed about that given that the report has huge implications for the HSE and its funded services,” said Noel Howard, of SCI.

“We wait with interest for their response.”

The Irish Examiner asked the HSE about their absence at the launch and also about their lack of response to its findings.

“The HSE is carefully examining the report issued by Social Care Ireland — Violence in the Workplace — and will respond directly in due course,” a spokesperson said. They added that the HSE supports healthcare workers who experience violence at work.

“Health service employers support healthcare workers who have experienced workplace aggression and violence and encourage immediate reporting of any incident,” the spokesperson said.

The report entitled Crisis, Concern, And Complacency, and its authors Phil Keogh and Catherine Byrne said the responses led them to believe that a culture of violence was now accepted in the profession.

“Three out of four social care workers in this study had experienced physical assault, 60% were threatened weekly or more often in their workplace, and 84% had lost a belief in the effectiveness of this profession,” said Ms Byrne.

“This all led us to identify that there is a culture there; there has been a culture there that accepts workplace violence and it is apparent in organisations and service,” she added.

The profession in Ireland had been aware the research was being carried out since 2014, when the authors first requested responses to the survey.


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