Saturday 19 August 2017

Medic accused of raping patient will not face criminal charges

Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee, Co Kerry
Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee, Co Kerry

EilishO’Regan

No prosecution will be brought in the case of an alleged rape of a 61-year-old female patient by a health worker in a Kerry hospital, the Irish Independent has learned.

The assault was alleged to have happened on September 10 at the Bons Secours Hospital in Tralee after the woman had a MRI scan.

A file was sent to the Director of Prosecutions who has now issued a direction of “no prosecution,” gardai confirmed.

The health worker was not employed directly by the Bons Secours but was part of a diagnostics company which offers MRI and CT scans at the hospital.

The accused left Ireland shortly after the incident. He did not keep an appointment to call to Tralee garda station and his whereabouts were unknown.

When gardai arrived at the hospital following the woman’s allegation the worker, who was in the middle of another scan, admitted having sex with the woman,  but claimed it was consensual.

He accompanied gardai to the station and was not arrested and charged.

He resigned from his job which he had held since 2009 but did not keep an appointment with the gardai some days later.

The woman said she had given the health worker a €10 tip after having the scan and was changing into her clothes when the alleged attack happened.

The worker accused of raping the woman came up clear on both occasions following the routine vetting procedure. He is married with one child.

His wife is also understood to have been employed as a healthworker here and has resigned.

The woman had a forensic examination in Cork and was offered counselling.

Regulatory authorities in Ireland were notified of the allegation against the health worker and  this was also be circulated to similar bodies abroad.

A team of executives in the company from the UK travelled to the Kerry town in the wake of the allegation.

The allegation led to the setting up of a internal inquiry by the company.

The review found that its patient safety procedures are in line with other similar healthcare providers.

However, it led to further steps to enhance safety can be taken.

It  checked to ensure all staff have up-to-date registration and garda clearance.

A spokeswoman for the diagnostics company  previously said the accused had been on their staff since 2009.

“We can confirm that an alleged incident took place,” she said.

“We wish to alleviate the concerns of patients and the public by making clear that the individual involved is no longer an employee and is no longer working at the hospital.”

The worker is understood to have been suspended following the allegation.

A full  internal investigation was underway into the alleged incident.

She said the current employee vetting process was introduced  by the company in 2013 .

It includes a garda report and two employment references from previous employers.

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