Nurses concerned about safety

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NURSES in accommodation at Craigavon Area Hospital were becoming increasingly concerned for their personal safety in 1989.

This was because of a spate of incidents involving thefts, broken windows and prowlers.

In one incident at 11pm a kitchen window was smashed by youths.

According to one nurse this was one of a series of similar incidents which has led to posters advising nurses to take precautions in order to protect themselves against the menace.

And they felt that if further steps were not taken in the near future then it would be only a matter of time before events took a more serious turn.

Administrative staff at the hospital however played down the nurses’ claims.

Said one administrator: “This has been an ongoing problem for quite a while now. It is certainly not a new problem.

“Obviously that does not mean that we are not concerned for the nurses’ safety but there are certain difficulties in securing a complex such as this.

“Firstly it is a relatively isolated and open site.

“You have also to remember that you will get, as simply a fact of its location, perhaps some drunken people coming from casualty who will take a wrong turning by mistake.

“Really because of the financial climate with which we are faced we feel we must always put patient services first.

“If we were to fund more security it would mean we would be taking away from the patients.

“All we can do is to stress what we have been saying all along, and that is to advise nurses there to be responsible for their own safety as much as they can.”