HSE sacks eight for discipline breaches

EIGHT people were sacked by the Health Service Executive (HSE) last year for breaches of discipline.

The disclosure comes just weeks after the outgoing chief executive of the HSE, Prof Brendan Drumm, told an Oireachtas Committee that very few people had been disciplined within the HSE for speaking out about issues within the HSE.

He was responding to questions from the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, who queried what he called the “culture of silence” within the HSE.

In fact, the eight sackings represents a tiny fraction of the overall workforce within the HSE, which employs approximately 110,000 around the country.

While the HSE would not give specific details as to why the eight staff were fired because it would constitute personal information relating to the employment history of the employees concerned, examples of conduct which may lead to disciplinary action include:

* Persistent poor time-keeping

* Unsatisfactory attendance record

* Poor work standards

* Breach of health and safety rules

* Bullying, harassment or sexual harassment (following a complaint being upheld under the Dignity at Work Policy)

* Breach of internet/email policy and other electronic communications policy

* Refusal to obey reasonable instructions

* Negligence

* Abuse of patient/client (following a complaint being upheld under the Trust in Care Policy)

Anyone facing disciplinary action within the HSE must undergo a process, from an oral warning through a written and then final written warning, to dismissal or action short of dismissal.

A HSE spokesman said: “Line managers are responsible for making employees aware of the standards of attendance, work and conduct expected from them and for dealing with shortcomings promptly and fairly.

“In general, the employee’s immediate supervisor/ manager will deal with deficiencies on an informal basis through discussion, counselling and appropriate assistance rather than through the formal disciplinary procedure.

“If, following the informal counselling stage, the employee continues to fail to meet the required standards then the HSE disciplinary procedure is invoked.”


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