Medic suspended after claim she slapped boy (4)
A medical worker has been suspended from duty after an allegation that she smacked a four-year-old child in front of his mother.
The HSE has confirmed that an investigation is under way into the alleged incident and gardai may become involved.
The child's mother claimed the incident happened at Letterkenny General Hospital at the weekend. She has made a statement claiming her child was slapped on the bottom.
In a statement to the Irish Independent, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed the parent had made a formal complaint.
The medical worker has been suspended while the incident is investigated.
"Letterkenny General Hospital is investigating a 'trust in care' incident concerning a child who was attending the hospital, accompanied by its parent," said the spokeswoman.
She said the hospital was guided by two policies when dealing with such incidents.
"The 'Children First' policy states that the key principles informing best practice are that the welfare of children is of paramount importance and that all personnel and health professionals, irrespective of the position held within the organisation, have a responsibility towards child protection and welfare," she said.
"The 'Trust in Care' policy aims to ensure that any allegations or complaints against a member of staff are thoroughly investigated.
"This policy states that 'at an appropriate stage in the process, management should take whatever protective measures are necessary to ensure that no patient/client or staff member is exposed to unacceptable risk.
"'These protective measures are not disciplinary measures and may include putting the staff member off duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation'."
In the statement the hospital also said: "In the interests of fairness and to ensure due process, the nature of any investigation is not discussed with third parties not associated with the alleged incident."
The spokeswoman added: "When the results of the investigation are known, appropriate action is taken – up to and including disciplinary action and, where appropriate, the reporting of the incident to external authorities."