Saturday 18 November 2017

Two health counsellors worked for months without Garda vetting

The responsibility for vetting lies with the agency and nobody should take up work without this vetting being completed
The responsibility for vetting lies with the agency and nobody should take up work without this vetting being completed
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Two counsellors were recruited to mental health services in the south without being cleared by gardaí, an audit report revealed.

The probe of the HSE area covering Cork and Kerry found that the agency staff were working for between three and six months before their clearance was finalised.

The responsibility for vetting lies with the agency and nobody should take up work without this vetting being completed.

The HSE's internal audit watchdog also found two other employees, a junior doctor who was a senior registrar grade and a temporary attendant had no Garda clearance when they were taken on.

A separate audit of car parking in University Hospital Limerick found there is an "unwritten system" in place whereby next of kin of children who are in hospital for more than 24 hours and up to five nights are issued with 50pc concessions.

Nursing managers told the auditors that full concessions have been issued where parents demanded them, regardless of eligibility.

An examination of 50pc concession books indicated they were altered to allow 100pc concession.

Swipe cards allow staff free parking. At the time of audit as many as 10,000 swipe cards were active. Historically, they were issued with no expiry date.

Another audit of travel expense claims at the HSE's disease watchdog, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, found in some instances they were incomplete.

"One instance of self-certification of an expense claim was noted during audit testing."

Competitive processes in relation to the awarding of maintenance contracts were in evidence in all instances.

Irish Independent

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