Tuesday 17 October 2017

Central Remedial Clinic admits charity money used for top-up payments to senior staff

A spokesperson for the CRC admitted charitable funds were used for the controversial top-ups.
A spokesperson for the CRC admitted charitable funds were used for the controversial top-ups.

A leading disability organisation has confirmed that money donated by the public is being used to top up salaries of well-paid staff.

A spokeswoman for the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin said charitable funds raised by a separate company the Friends and Supporters of the Remedial Clinic was funding the controversial top ups.

The clinic’s former chief executive Paul Kiely was on a State salary of €106,900  before he retired which which was supplemented with another €136,000 in privately donated funds.

The Dail Committee on Public Accounts heard yesterday that the Friends and Supporters of the Remedial Clinic had a surplus of €14m in 2011.

At the same time the Central Remedial Clinic which receives around €19m in funding from the HSE has cut back on services for vulnerable children and adults.

 In a statement a spokeswoman for the Central Remedial Clinic said the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic is a separate company .

Its fund is  generated from a share of the operation of a lottery, administered by the Care Trust.  Friends and Supporters does not receive any funding from the National Lottery.

She said :”Friends and Supporters enables the Central Remedial Clinic to fund a number of large capital projects. These have included the development of CRC Waterford, a large state of the art centre which provides services to children with physical disabilities in the South East region, at a cost of €2 million.”

It also funded a large renovation projects at CRC Clontarf, at a cost in excess of €7 million, since 2004. It also funded the development of CRC Limerick, a clinic which provides a range of specialised services for the Mid-West Region.  

She said in 2009 the Central Remedial Clinic had an agreed position with the HSE to phase out the level of management salaries being paid over and above the Department of Health’s consolidated pay scales.

“ Nine posts were identified in correspondence with the HSE. It was agreed at the time that as these positions became available through retirement or vacancy, new staff would be engaged on compliant salaries.

“At present only five of these posts remain following retirement and vacancy and two of these posts are due to retire in the next two years.

“  In line with this agreement, the salary of the Central Remedial Clinic’s new Chief Executive, Brian Conlan, is fully compliant. “

She said that Friends and Supporters continues to support large scale capital projects at the Central Remedial Clinic and at present funds are earmarked to build a new state of the art centre at CRC Clondalkin.

This is  now in its design phase and a new day activity centre for adults in Swords, which is in discussion with the HSE at the moment. Projected costs for these projects are estimated in excess of €9 million.

Labour TD Robert Dowds, who is a former employee of the CRC says he knows of children who were in need of swimming therapy but weren’t able to have some due to cut backs at the clinic.

He said the news is “a matter of great distress” for him, and he is aware of certain staff who lost their jobs due to cutbacks also.

Eilish O’Regan, Health Correspondent

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