THE HEALTH Service Executive has confirmed that one staff member in the Mid-West has been dismissed due to poor attendance and other disciplinary cases are ongoing, as they attempt the reduce the absenteeism rate in the region.
Outlining local aspects of the HSE National Service Plan in Limerick, area manager Bernard Gloster said one of the biggest demands facing the service in the Mid-West region is the reduction in the level of absenteeism.
Mr Gloster said that the absenteeism rate in non acute services in the Mid-West is now down to 6.45%.
While he said that’s “not something I’m proud of”, he explained that the figure has been reduced from “8, 9 and in some case 10% in some disciplines, which in itself a substantial achievement.”
As the national average for absenteeism is 4.17%, he said “we still have a little bit of the way to go” and disputed the view that there isn’t accountability in the public sector. He said there are number of cases at a disciplinary process at various levels, but is not in a position to comment on these at present.
Speaking about the redevelopment of the psychiatric unit in the University Hospital in Dooradoyle, he said any possible renaming of 5B would have to be carefully considered.
He said that to change the name of that word and not change everything else in the hospital, which is laid out numerically, could have unintended negative connotations. “It’s something we’ll be very careful about but will be committed to looking at. Whatever name we call it, whatever name we give it..we want to inspire public confidence inspite of the name,” he said. He said the €8m redevelopment is due to be completed on time, with phase two of three due to be finished this April.
Regarding impending closure of St Joseph’s psychiatric hospital on Mulgrave Street, he said there are seven patients remaining there, who “require a particular response, that’s why we’re taking our time there [regarding their rehabilitation].
“We have to be very sensitive and very careful about how we approach that,” he said.
He said the future use of St Joseph’s hospital - a 17 acre site - is being considered, but added that “many well intentioned plans in the past” may not come to fold. He said there are limitations regarding its future use, but in the meantime it will be used for maximum benefit as office space.