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Lone working in community settings are the situations where HSE staff are most at risk of “violence or aggression”, a recent HSE meeting heard.

Issues over “violence and aggression” towards healthcare staff, particularly in community settings, were raised at a recent HSE People and Culture Committee meeting.

Committee members discussed the HSE Corporate Risk Register and the inclusion of “resilience” of staff members in terms of safety, health and wellbeing.

The reference to staff safety in the risk register is set to be rewritten, according to the minutes of the meeting. “Physical risks are the biggest and most frequent risk that staff face,” according to the minutes of the February meeting. “The focus currently is violence and aggression towards staff.”

The Committee heard “this seems to be happening more in the community settings where lone working can happen, and it affects staff in disability and intellectual disability settings”. Committee members were told that the HSE’s focus of this year to help this situation was “to ensure staff perform a risk assessment before going out into the various community settings to see what risks might be faced and to take mitigating actions”.

The Committee asked if there are any other changes to highlight, and the Committee “were informed that a targeted approach to violence and aggression and a review of the number of health and safety officers available were the main points of focus for this year”.