HSE knew charity money used for top ups, says former clinic chair
SENIOR directors in the Health Service Executive (HSE) were made fully aware four years that the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) would use its own charity funds to pay large top-ups to its managers, it was claimed today.
Former CRC chairman Des Peelo said he met with the HSE in 2009 and pointed out it could not break a contract with nine managers, including its chief executive Paul Kiely who was getting a €136,000 top-up in addition to his State salary of €106,900 until his recent retirement.
He said the HSE informed it that it could no longer fund the additional payments out of the annual allocation it gave to the CRC to run services for children and adults with a disability.
“We had to take on the obligation and we willingly did it,” he told the Today with Sean O’Rourke show on RTE radio today.
“We would have been sued for God know’s what under employment legislation ,” he added.
“I went to Dr Steeven’s Hospital and met five people from the HSE and discussed how the salaries in the CRC were out of sync.All the figures about nine people were involved. It took less than an hour to agree this.
“It was agreed that the salary levels would continue . We agreed that from January 1 that we would fund the difference from our private pools . The HSE is fully aware of this.”
“There is no secret and fully on the record and agreed in writing with the HSE.There is nothing hidden about this,” he added.
The “problem would disappear” with time as the those on a top-up retired and new pay arrangements would be discussed with the HSE.
His revelations are set to cause major embarrassment for the HSE which was confronted over its failure to stamp out the top-ups in a range of voluntary hospitals and organisations over the years.
HSE chief executive expressed shock when he was confronted with the annual accounts of the CRC’s fund raising arm, the Friends and Supports of the Central Remedical Clinic at a meeting of the Dail Committee on Public Accounts last year.
It showed it had a nest egg of €14m at the time when it was cutting back on services.It later emerged this is the charity money being used to fund the generous salary top-ups and pension payments.
Mr Peelo who stepped down as chairman in 2010 after 28 years of involvement in the CRC . The CRC gets around €19m a year from the HSE.