Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Ceisteanna (112, 113)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

112. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 550 of 11 June 2019, the basis on which it was concluded that the aspect of complaint in respect of the impact of certain conduct on the health and well-being of personnel did not characterise matters falling within the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38933/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

113. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 674 of 11 June 2019 and 1266 and 1267 of 27 July 2019, the reason it took from September 2014 to 11 June 2019 to address with the board of the NMBI the matter of inappropriate spending of nurses and midwives moneys on legal expenses for a person (details supplied) named in a protected disclosure; the reason this aspect of the protected disclosure was not investigated to confirm the validity of the allegation at the early stages of reviewing the protected disclosure; the legal fees paid by the NMBI to the person named in the protected disclosure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38934/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 113 together.

My reply to PQ No 674 of 11 June 2019 dealt with the handling of a Protected Disclosure submitted to my Department in September 2014 which raised matters of concern in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). The impact of certain conduct on the health and well- being of staff within the NMBI was one of the issues raised. However the Protected Disclosure did not detail a complaint under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, in any event health and welfare issues were subject to the subsequent review under the Protected Disclosure Act 2014.

The Protected Disclosure was subject to external review and, on foot of that review two reports were commissioned. One was an organisational review carried out by Crowe Horwath the other by BDO reviewed Remuneration and Contract Management of Non -Permanent Employees. BDO and Crowe Horwath reported in November 2015. Both reports were accepted in full by the Board on the NMBI and they moved to fully implement the recommendations. This has resulted in a comprehensive change to the governance and management arrangements in NMBI.

The matter of the payment of legal fees by the NMBI was addressed in previous PQ replies. I am advised by my officials that this matter was not raised in the original Protected Disclosure. The NMBI advised that "the protected disclosure took place over a period of almost two years. Persons who are subject to protected disclosures are entitled to due process. NMBI did pay towards the legal costs of a person whose actions were the subject of a protected disclosure."

I am advised by the NMBI that a payment of €17,318.15 in respect of legal fees was made to the person named in the Protected Disclosure.