May 27, 2021
Minister for Health must intervene and address St Joseph’s Hospital concerns – Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne today wrote to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly urging him to engage in issues that have been impacting the workers and residents of St Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis.

There are two distinct issues affecting the hospital that Teachta Wynne has been raising for several months, which she has detailed in the letter.

The first is a HIQA report released earlier this month revealed that there was non-compliance with multiple standard management and care practices in the hospital during an inspection on March 10th and 11th of this year.

The second is the delay with a certain cohort of approximately 20 healthcare staff who have still not received their pay upgrade that was due in September of 2019.

Teachta Wynne said:

“I feel I must act to engage with the Department of Health and seek a commitment to the prompt and effective resolution of these issues, which relate to both the quality of care and human rights of the residents and the labour rights of the staff.  

“The HIQA report has shown that residents who needed assistance to move were in fact left months without the required assistance needed to access and take a shower. This is particularly concerning in light of the fact that it was unreported and exposed through inspection.

“These are extremely vulnerable people, and if there is an issue around complications vindicating their human rights to the minimum care standards set in such a healthcare institution, then there needs to be transparency about that, rather than a retrospective statement detailing remorse. 

“I have written to the Minister to ask for concrete action to be taken to prevent a similar human rights issue in the future.

“The second issue is that a number of the workers have not received their due pay upgrade and as a result have been working over the last 14 months during the pandemic without appropriate remuneration. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is how important and essential our healthcare workers are.

“These issues are pressing and the continued lack of engagement from the Minister and his Department is disappointing. I invite Minster Donnelly to contact me as soon as possible with a view to resolving these issues.”

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