Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Questions (225)

Tom Fleming

Question:

226 Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Health in view of the recent termination from their job of a mental health patient advocate (details supplied) who brought to light the problems at Grangegorman, Dublin before Christmas, his plans to review the operation of quality auditing in the health sector. [4455/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

When the issue of the transfer of patients from Unit 3B to a low secure ward in St Brendan's Hospital, first arose back in December, I visited the hospital to satisfy myself that the temporary arrangements put in place for those 5 vulnerable patients were appropriate and would provide a good standard of care. During my visit I was satisfied that they were very well cared for and were comfortable in their new accommodation. Furthermore the decision to temporarily transfer them at the time to another ward in St Brendan's was made after careful clinical assessments were carried out where their individual needs were taken into account.

The trainee advocate whom the Deputy is referring to here is under contract with the Irish Advocacy Network, which is a voluntary organisation that is supported and funded by the HSE to provide Peer Advocacy Services nationally. The initial decision to terminate this person's contract and the subsequent decision to offer re-instatement were both taken independently by the Irish Advocacy Network. The HSE did not have any involvement in those processes. I understand that a meeting is scheduled between the HSE and the Irish Advocacy Network this Friday and I will receive a report from the HSE on the outcome of that meeting. I will be seeking to be assured that in taking decisions such as these, appropriate procedures are used and governance arrangements apply to ensure fairness of treatment for all concerned.