HSE names top hospitals in pay breaches

Health authority asked to investigate pay arrangements at Central Remedial Clinic

The HSE has confirmed for the first time that some of the Republic’s leading hospitals – including Tallaght, the Rotunda (pictured), the National Maternity Hospital and the Coombe Women’s Hospital – have been paying senior staff more than is permitted by the Government

The HSE has confirmed for the first time that some of the Republic’s leading hospitals – including Tallaght, the Rotunda (pictured), the National Maternity Hospital and the Coombe Women’s Hospital – have been paying senior staff more than is permitted by the Government

 

The HSE has confirmed for the first time that some of the Republic’s leading hospitals – including Tallaght, the Rotunda, the National Maternity Hospital and the Coombe Women’s Hospital – have been paying senior staff more than is permitted by the Government.

In a new development, the health authority has been asked to investigate whether funding from a charitable organisation linked to the Central Remedial Clinic was used to fund any unauthorised payments to senior staff.

At the Dáil Public Accounts Committee yesterday, it emerged that a company called the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic had €14 million at the end of 2011.

Lottery funding
This company, which is listed as a charity, received National Lottery funding of €2 million in 2011. Deputy Shane Ross said it appeared the Central Remedial Clinic had access to large sums of money at a time when it and other organisations were cutting services. The HSE gave the committee a full list of agencies deemed to not be in compliance with public pay policy last night. They include St Michael’s House, Our Lady’s Hospice in Dublin, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook, Dublin, the Dublin Dental School and Hospital, Carriglea Cairde Services in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, and the Muiriosa Foundation.

The committee yesterday began hearings into revelations around the widespread breach of public sector pay policy in voluntary hospitals and other State-funded agencies. The HSE said only seven of the 43 State-funded voluntary hospitals and health agencies were confirmed as being compliant with Government pay policy.

It added that about 30 organisations were claiming to be compliant but that these assertions were now being verified as self-declarations and may not be valid.Last week the National Maternity Hospital said it remunerated its personnel “in accordance with their employment terms, with the agreement of the appropriate board sub-committees, and in full compliance with public service pay requirements”.

Not compliant
However, the HSE told the committee the hospital had confirmed to it by letter that it was not compliant.

Internal Department of Health files obtained by The Irish Times revealed that four senior figures at the National Maternity Hospital, the master, the secretary manager, the director of nursing and the financial controller were receiving “privately funded allowances” ranging from €30,000 to €45,000 on top of salary.

Hospital master Dr Rhona Mahony said last week that €45,000 paid to her was not a “top-up” payment but related to professional fees from private patients .

However, last night the HSE said the payments were identified as privately funded allowances because “that was the exact description provided by the hospital”.

Meanwhile, Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin has confirmed that its chief executive was receiving an allowance funded from on-site commercial activities. It has also confirmed that neither the 2009 pension levy nor the pay cut under the Haddington Road agreement had been deducted from a €30,000 allowance paid to its chief executive from profits from shops.

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