Sunday 22 October 2017

'Cut and paste' counsellor under extra supervision after report error - HSE

Whistleblower Maurice McCabe Photo: Tom Burke
Whistleblower Maurice McCabe Photo: Tom Burke
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The HSE counsellor whose "cut and paste" error alleged Sgt Maurice McCabe had committed serious sexual abuse of a young woman as a child has been placed under extra supervision.

The counsellor in the National Counselling Service, who made the error in 2013 and discovered it in 2014, remains on the staff, as reported by the Irish Independent yesterday.

However, a HSE spokeswoman said after the matter came to light, "additional supervisory procedures were put in place in relation to the staff member concerned".

The counsellor, who was providing therapy to the young woman, reported the allegation to HSE social services before it was later passed on to Tusla.

The HSE said an immediate internal review of guidelines, practices and protocols had been undertaken within the National Counselling Service to ensure that such a mistake would not reoccur.

Tusla, which is facing serious questions over its handling of the McCabe file and how it was processed, told the Irish Independent that it once again apologises unreservedly to the McCabe family, and would welcome the opportunity to meet them to discuss and clarify any specific concerns.

Regulation

The Health Information and Quality Authority is to carry out an investigation of Tusla, which said: "We welcome the investigations that have been established and we will co-operate fully with them. We would like to reassure the public that the best interests of the children and families with whom we work are always at the heart of what we do."

Meanwhile, asked about progress on the introduction of regulation for counsellors and psychotherapists, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said officials were examining 84 submissions received on foot of the public consultation on the plan.

"Subject to the outcome of the consultation process, the minister will make regulations later this year designating the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist under the 2005 act," she said. "This will be followed by establishment and appointment of the 13-person registration board.

"Counsellors and psychotherapists are not currently regulated under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. However, the act provides that the health minister may, by regulation, designate a health and social care profession not already designated if he or she considers that it is appropriate."

Irish Independent

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