Ombudsman action forces HSE payout
THE owners of a private nursing home who were refused payment by the Health Service Executive (HSE) for looking after a stroke patient were awarded €10,670 compensation after complaining to Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly.
The woman had been resident in a private nursing home on an occasional basis and the HSE should have been informed when she was admitted and discharged before paying the home a financial subvention to cover her stay.
However, due to a clerical error, the nursing home failed to notify the HSE about one re-admission in January 2007 when she spent 17 months in its care, the Ombudsman report published yesterday revealed.
The HSE refused to pay a financial subvention to the nursing home to cover the cost of the woman's care and said it had no liability as it had not made the error.
"The only reason the HSE appeared to be refusing to pay the retrospective subvention was that the nursing home failed, on this one occasion, to notify the HSE in writing that the resident was re-admitted," Ms O'Reilly said.
Ms O'Reilly said the HSE recognised the unusual circumstances of the case and offered, on a once-off basis, an ex-gratia payment of €10,670 which represents half the subvention fee.
In another report, Ms O'Reilly found in favour of a woman who was badly treated in a HSE mental health outpatient clinic.
The woman, who received an apology after Ms O'Reilly's intervention, attended the clinic without a scheduled appointment. Her file was given to a doctor but he left two hours later for lunch without saying why he could not see her. Her file was given to another doctor who she said was very aggressive towards her and accused her of being late.
This doctor phoned her mother and revealed information on her condition that she wanted to remain private.