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13.00 11 Sep 2019


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Nearly 200 Health Service Executive (HSE) staff have received special State payments because of serious physical assaults by patients since January 2018.

New figures also show 41 staff have been sexually assaulted on duty in the same timeframe.

HSE employees who are absent from work because of a reckless attack by a patient may be eligible for the Serious Physical Assault Scheme, which includes basic pay, allowances and premium pay that staff would have earned if they were still at work.

According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, 59 people qualified for the scheme this year and 135 last year.

assaults Source: Health Service Executive

There was a 5% increase in the number of physical or verbal assaults on staff last year - with nearly 6,200 recorded.

Some 27 employees of the HSE were allegedly sexually assaulted in 2018 and 14 so far this year.

assaults Source: Health Service Executive

Niall Shanahan is from the trade union, Forsa.

"As a union representing 30,000 health workers nationwide, obviously we're concerned that the numbers of staff experiencing assault and injury is far too high.

"But similarly, we think it's vital that staff who cannot work because of an injury as a result of a workplace assault have access to scheme - a comprehensive scheme - that responds to their specific needs".

The HSE says it is committed to providing a safe and health work environment, and to supporting employees who became injured in the course of their work.

Reporting by Eoghan Murphy


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Assaults Forsa Freedom Of Information Health Service Executive Hse Niall Shanahan Physical Assaults Serious Physical Assault Scheme State Payments

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