Press Release

Government decision on Report of the Taskforce on Assaults on Psychiatric Nurses

The Government today (13 July 2005) decided to publish The Report of the Taskforce on Assaults on Psychiatric Nurses (completed 2003) but has decided not to introduce a ‘no fault’ compensation scheme for psychiatric nurses. This follows consultation with the Attorney General and other departments on The Report of the Taskforce during which complex legal and financial issues emerged in relation to aspects of the proposed scheme and their implications for the health service and the wider public service.

Particular concerns were expressed about the ‘no fault’ aspect of the proposed scheme, pressure to extend such a scheme across the wider public sector, and the financial implications of such a scheme.

The Government, however, decided to ask the State Claims Agency to examine the possibility of amending The Serious Physical Assaults Scheme (last revised in 2001) to include a fixed redress fund for physical injury caused by assault at work.

The existing Serious Physical Assaults Scheme already provides enhanced sick pay arrangements for nurses assaulted at work. Medical expenses are also refunded. In circumstances where a nurse is certified permanently unfit to resume duty they may be paid 5/6 of full salary until retirement.

The Tanaiste said that she is concerned about any instance of violence and aggression towards healthcare workers. The HSE have been requested to review and enhance a policy for the prevention, reporting and monitoring of physical assaults against health service staff.

View the Report of the Task Force on Assaults on Psychiatric Nurses here