Review into whistleblower claims not due to be published until May

A review into claims that the HSE slashed funding to a private health agency where the whistleblower in the Grace case works after she raised the alarm over her care is unlikely to be published until at least May.

Review into whistleblower claims not due to be published until May

The situation emerged after the Irish Examiner yesterday published a detailed interview with the family of another woman who was allegedly abused at the home, and whose family say they are being blocked from accessing medical files on what happened.

In a letter to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee in response to ongoing questions about the Grace case triggered by HSE director general Tony O’Brien’s meeting with the PAC last month, HSE assistant national director Ray Mitchell said the review by Deloitte is nearing completion.

Mr Mitchell said the review, which was not publicly known until Mr O’Brien’s meeting with the PAC last month, was commissioned by the HSE in July 2016 to examine disputed claims money was unfairly cut from the whistleblower’s agency after she raised the alarm over Grace.

Specifically, the review is examining the amount of money provided to the agency between 2009 and 2015; financial statements; managing accounts; sleepover funding; costs relating to Grace’s care; “funding reconciliation” matters and other issues.

During a lengthy meeting discussing the Grace case last month, Mr O’Brien told the PAC the Deloitte report was due in the coming weeks and would be available to the HSE from early April.

However, in formal correspondence to the PAC, Mr Mitchell said a “draft” of the report will now not be available until the end of April, and that it will only be finalised “as soon as practical thereafter”.

“Deloitte has maintained contact with both parties [the HSE and the whistleblower’s agency] during the period and received documentation for the purposes of the review.

“Meetings were held with both HSE local personnel and the service provided in August and September 2016.

“Deloitte expect to be in a position to provide a draft of the report in this matter to the HSE and service provider for review by the end of April 2017 and it will be finalised as soon as practical thereafter.

“The pricing mechanism would be commercially sensitive, but it is estimated the review will cost in the region of €10,000,” he said.

News of the delay to the independent review comes after the Government last month finally set up a State investigation into the foster home abuse scandal after the HSE published two long-delayed reports into the case.

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