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Why violence toward nurses in Ireland is on the rise - and what can be done to stop it

15 Jun 2024

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Last month, an investigation into the rates of abuse toward HSE staff found there had been 5,593 assaults against nurses and midwives in Ireland between January 2021 and October 2022. This equates to ten attacks in Irish hospitals each day.

A representative from The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation shared multiple incidents of abuse faced by nurses, from knife attacks to kicking and spitting.

Unsurprisingly, this ongoing violence has left nurses in Ireland feeling unsafe at work, with many considering leaving the HSE, Ireland’s national health service.

Why are attacks on the rise? 

The rise in violence toward nurses has been attributed to staff shortages and subsequent delays to waiting time, plus overcrowding in waiting areas.

Reports of an instance where there were two doctors to care for 60 waiting patients overnight highlights the extent of the intense pressure healthcare staff are experiencing. 

Preventative measures 

In high-risk conditions where staffing is limited and tensions are high, powerful, integrated safety systems are needed to protect healthcare workers from attack. De-escalation techniques are not fool proof, particularly in high-stress environments, leaving staff exposed to harm from members of the public.  

Pinpoint’s P2 System delivers optimal security solutions for staff, allowing employees to summon assistance instantaneously in any situation. The powerful communication abilities of the P2 System enable nurses at risk of violence to alert a response team to the exact location and severity of an incident by simply pressing a button on a discreet personal safety alarm.

This highly efficient process, which takes just 1/100th of a second from alarm activation to display, prevents hostile or aggressive behaviour from escalating as responders can swiftly intervene. 

Where resources (and people) are tight, it’s crucial that responders are directed to the exact placement of an attack in a timely manner. The Pinpoint System does this, displaying the very room where an attack is taking place to devices including PCs, pagers and mobiles for staff to respond to.

The outcome

Installing Pinpoint’s staff attack system reduces the threat of violence in the workplace and reassures employees of their safety. This was certainly the case for staff at The Creagh Suite in St. Brigid’s Hospital, Ballinasloe, which offers long term care to residents living with dementia. The knowledge that they could summon assistance with the single press of a personal alarm added to staff confidence and productivity.

Moreover, the P2 System has been shown to prevent aggressive behaviour from service users. The knowledge that staff can call for help has been seen to reduce the rate of violence in several units. The impact of this includes reduced absenteeism and staff turnover, and improved patient care.

With abuse of HSE nurses at an all-time high, it’s clear reliable and effective measures are needed to protect staff. Pinpoint’s advanced staff attack systems offer a powerful solution to minimise harm and alleviate strain on an already stressed workforce.


Looking to discuss your staff safety requirements? Get in touch with us here to arrange a call.  

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