Hospital does not tolerate abuse to staff or patients

By Mary Dennehy 

TALLAGHT Hospital has launched a campaign to eliminate any instances of verbal abuse and physical aggression towards staff and patients, as crowded departments and longer waiting times place additional stresses on the busy local hospital.

According to the hospital, one of its core values is for everybody, staff, patient or visitor, to be respectful and understanding of the people they meet and interact with on a daily basis.

Tallaght Hospital Zero Harm

Dr Daragh Fahey Director of Quality Risk & Safety Management, Tallaght Hospital, Sgt Carolyn Cullen Tallaght Garda Station, Anthony O’Toole Security Manager Tallaght Hospital, Garda Roisin Maguire Tallaght Garda Station and Aine Lynch, Director of Nursing Tallaght Hospital

In a statement to The Echo, Tallaght Hospital said: “The hospital is very often an extremely busy place, and particularly during this time of the year when winter pressures lead to crowded waiting rooms and longer waiting times.

“It can sometimes be a stressful environment for staff, patients and their loved ones and this has in some instances led to instances of verbal abuse and sometimes physical aggression from patients and/or their family towards other patients and their families or towards staff.

“Tallaght Hospital does not tolerate such behaviour in any manner.”

In line with this, Tallaght Hospital has launched its second Zero Harm Campaign, which hopes to eliminate Verbal Abuse and Physical Aggression (VAPA) towards staff and other patients – with the campaign also focusing on prevention, management, support and follow-up actions.

“Prevention focuses on ensuring that staff are trained to identify, diffuse and manage potentially volatile situations”, the hospital said.

“In cases, where VAPA is occurring we highlight the resources from a security and Gardai perspective to manage physical incidents.

“It also sets out the legal options open to staff following such events.

 “If there is a pattern of repeat behaviour by individuals, the hospital will consider restricting them from attending the hospital unless there is an urgent healthcare need.

“In parallel we are making staff aware of the supports such as the employee assistance programme to help cope with verbal abuse or physical aggression.”

 The hospital added: “Tallaght Hospital places paramount importance on patients, staff and visitors behaving in a mutually respectful manner when they attend our Hospital.

“Nobody has a right to be aggressive to a member of staff or a fellow patient when they come to the hospital.

“Staff will try to diffuse potentially aggressive situations and will take all appropriate steps available to them to guard against such incidents occurring or reoccurring.”

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