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HSE needs to learn from Áras Attracta and Portlaoise scandals

Is Mr Tony O’Brien, chief executive of the HSE, going to put the house in order, now that those involved in the abuse of the vulnerable elderly, in Áras Attracta, are being brought to court law?

The HSE is a spent force and no longer fit for purpose. Indeed, from word go it was doomed to failure. Instead of replacing the old health-board monoliths with a streamlined organisation, all we got was another layer of bureaucracy.

Their ability to stonewall any challenges to their incompetent management is infamous.

They are renowned for the numbers of mythical studies, reports and reviews, which then ‘gather dust’ in their HQ.

Their despicable responses to their ‘victims’ is deplorable. It is now clear to me, and all of us out here in the real world, that several things have to happen .

1, Removal of the senior management who have been presiding over, and have been responsible for, the incompetent handling of the many cases of abuse that gave been reported throughout the country.

2, The latest debacle in Portlaoise necessitated the relatives of the victims mounting a campaign to secure justice for their deceased children. Again, the delays in dealing with these matters, not to mention the casual, uncaring approach they adopted in the aftermath, are truly unforgivable. This must be dealt with without any further interference.

3, HIQA must be allowed to follow through on their critical reports of the services provided by the HSE.

4 The sanctions, in the form of Mickey Mouse fines and derisory, six-month jail terms, are a joke.

Why not adopt the French model?

There, when someone has been found guilty before the courts of abuses in respect of the elderly, there are a number of options:

(a). Fines of €300,000

(b). Sequestering of the premises where the offences took place

(c). Jail terms that are in keeping with the seriousness of the offences.

The appalling treatment of whistleblowers, who themselves have been threatened and been subjected to all sorts of intimidation, from physical threats to hate mail, including late-night phone calls, etc, must also be stopped.

It is also past time for the incompetents to fold their tents and go back whence they came.

Jack Keaveney

Betaghstown Wood


Co Meath

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