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01 Jul 2022

UPDATED: Shocking amount of sick days over assaults and abuse at St Luke's

There have been 165 incidents since 2014 which include physical assaults.

A total of 51 sick days have been taken since 2014 due to assaults at work however none of these were taken this year.

There were 30 days taken in 2015 and 21 just last year. 

Staff at St Luke's Emergency Department were subjected to the same number of physical assaults in the first six months of this year than they were over the whole of 2015 and 2016.

The figures, obtained by the Kilkenny People through a Freedom of Information request, reveal that up until June of this year there were four physical assaults on A&E staff at the hospital.

This compares with three incidents for the whole of last year and just one physical attack in 2015 and 2014. The National Steering Group is to publish its report on a Trauma System for Ireland, with recommendations on the future of Emergency Departments in hospitals such as St Luke's in Kilkenny, "in the coming weeks".

Local TD John McGuinness says a lot of the “horrendous” incidents go unreported by front-line staff members.

Meanwhile the Ireland East Hospital Group – of which St Luke's is part of – could not provide the full information requested as it “could not be found”.

This means the figures could not be broken down further to determine how many of the staff were nurses and front-line medical professionals.

A spokesperson said: “With regard to specifics relating to the incidents and distinguishing between verbal and physical abuse, this information is not recorded separately in [the National Incident Management System] and therefore cannot be separated out to give you specific numbers relating to verbal or physical abuse.

“In so far as I could determine by checking with the hospital itself and how information is recorded and provided nationally to NIMS, the specific information you are requesting could not be found."

For more reaction and analysis, read tomorrow's Kilkenny People. 

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