Management at the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin have engaged an external consultant to review its catering arrangements, in a move that could have implications for staff in the section.
The company has informed Siptu of the move, raising fears among staff that their positions could be outsourced. About 80 permanent and part-time staff work in the hospital’s catering section.
A spokesman for Mater Private said: “A review is taking place but there are no predetermined outcomes. This exercise is about providing a consistent catering experience for patients, staff and visitors.”
The catering unit provides food and snacks to patients, staff and the public, who can use the restaurant on the ground floor.
The company’s website states that it takes “great pride” in the meals it serves.
“Many patients attest to the excellent quality and the variety of food choices. We source as much fresh Irish produce as possible, provide a variety of food to suit all tastes and cater for any special dietary requirements,” it adds.
The Mater Private has been in operation since 1986 and operates facilities in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Liverpool. It markets itself as Ireland’s leading private cancer centre, while it also has a 24/7 cardiac care unit, and a walk-in emergency department.
It is 51 per cent owned by CapVest, a London-based venture capital firm led by Irishman Séamus Fitzpatrick, with the balance of shares held by management and staff. It was previously owned and run by the Sisters of Mercy congregation.
Last year, the owners of the Mater Private pulled a sale of the business for the second time in 14 months before securing a €300 million refinancing deal led by Australian bank Macquarie.
The transaction refinanced the Mater Private’s existing debt and included a “tailored” capital expenditure facility to support growth and development of the hospital, it said.