INMO welcomes new package for Sexual Assault Treatment Units
The INMO has welcomed a new funding, staffing and policy package for Ireland’s nurse-led Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATUs).
The €500,000 package was announced today (Thursday) by the Minister for Health, as part of a process following representations by the INMO on behalf of SATU nurses.
Four SATU nurses and the INMO had met the Minister in Spring 2018, to raise issues of understaffing, excessive overtime, and a lack of resources.
At the INMO conference in May 2018, Minister Harris committed to this new national SATU policy.
Ireland has six SATUs, aiming to provide a service to victims of sexual assault within three hours of first contact. 941 patients used the services in 2018 – an 11% increase over the last four years.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Sexual assault treatment is specialist work, undertaken with great sensitivity and commitment by our members. Ireland’s six units are led and staffed by exceptionally dedicated nurses.
“Sadly, the workload in this area has been increasing in recent years. The 25% increase in funding is welcome, and the INMO are glad to see the government take on board policy changes which will make a real difference both to frontline staff and those who find themselves in need of this service.
“There remain outstanding issues, but this is a strong starting point, and will make a measurable difference in the sector.”