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Minister must intervene in Causeway after another attack

16 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Coleraine councillor Billy Leonard has called on Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey, to personally intervene in the Causeway Hospital security controversy after confirmation of another assault on nursing staff in the A&E department occurred last Thursday morning.

A female nurse was hit in the face and she ceased her work immediately because of shock. It is not known whether she has returned to her duties.

The attack, carried out by an "intoxicated person", comes shortly after a similar breakfast time attack on two nurses in the same department. Concerns have been expressed about security at the Hospital and the fact that personal security alarms are unused because of funding shortages.

Councillor Leonard said:

"I was approached at the weekend about this and have got official confirmation that this worrying and dreadful incident happened.

"I am therefore calling on the Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey to personally intervene in this issue. Funding is always the challenge but Mr McGimpsey must surely ensure that staff at the Causeway have maximum protection and that money from a multi-million pound budget is made available for security.

"Security reviews have been carried out before yet a lack of security has once again left a nurse exposed to danger from what was described to me as an 'intoxicated person'.

"There are real public concerns that drink and drugs cause virtually all these incidents and that staff are very exposed." ENDS

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