Press Release

Government Decision on Insurance Scheme for Psychiatric Nurses Assaulted in the Workplace

The Government today (17 January 2007) approved a proposal from the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, to address the issue, raised by the PNA and SIPTU, of compensation for injuries resulting from workplace assaults.

The Government agreed to  authorise the Health Service Executive (HSE) to seek personal injury insurance cover, for nurses employed in mental health services.  This insurance would provide a fixed tariff of compensation for particular physical injuries resulting from assault by a patient.  This would be in addition to the benefits available under the existing Serious Physical Assaults Scheme.

The Government also decided to request the HSE in co-operation with the State Claims Agency (SCA) to examine how a scheme applicable to the wider health service might be administered and funded and to revert to the Minister for Health and Children and Minister for Finance with proposals for such a scheme.

The HSE is also being instructed to examine the procedures in place to reduce the level of assaults on staff by patient/clients and to revert to the Minister for Health and Children with a report within twelve months.