Tallaght Hospital staff safety needs to be increased following several assaults this year.

This is according to local Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe who called on the HSE to prioritise the protection of health service workers.

“The safety of the excellent staff in our health service as they discharge their duties is paramount,” he said.

“Any assault or attempted assault on a member of the health service as they try to do their job is unacceptable.

“Figures released to Sinn Féin show that in the first five months of the year 279 health service workers were assaulted – with 249 of those assaults being committed against nurses and midwives.

“In Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, which Tallaght Hospital is part of, the number of assaults was a staggering 40.

“Nurses play a key role in the delivery of our public health services, and for them to face such high levels of assault is completely unacceptable.

“The HSE, and the Minister for Health, need to increase measures to reduce the number of assaults our nurses face.

“I urge the HSE to directly employ more security staff in the emergency department in Tallaght and throughout the hospital to ensure employees are protected.

“Workers in Tallaght hospital and across the heath service do an amazing job in caring for the health needs of the people and they deserve the right to be able to do their jobs without fear of facing assault.”

A spokesperson for the HSE told Dublin Gazette the safety of their employees and service users is a priority concern for the HSE and Dublin Midlands Hospital Group.

“The 40 (incidents) across our Hospital Group as opposed to only Tallaght University Hospital is a very crucial point.

“The number of 40 relates to the entire Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which includes seven hospitals.

“There is a zero tolerance approach to violence and aggressive behaviours in our Hospitals.

“Tallaght University Hospital have confirmed two minor/moderate incidents recorded in the first quarter of this year, please note quarter two figures are not yet available.

“One of the core values in Tallaght University Hospital is for everybody, whether a staff member, a patient or a visitor to be respectful and understanding of the people we meet and interact with on a daily basis.

“The Hospital is an extremely busy place, and can at times be a stressful environment for patients and their loved ones and staff, this has in some instances led to instances of verbal abuse and sometimes physical aggression from patients and/or their family towards other patients and their families or towards staff.

“Tallaght University Hospital does not tolerate such behaviour in any manner.”