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Thread: Hundreds of Women Now to Face Hep C Test After Locum Obstetrician Infected.

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    Politics.ie Member damus's Avatar
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    Default Hundreds of Women Now to Face Hep C Test After Locum Obstetrician Infected.

    It's just breaking in the Indo that hundreds of women across ten hospitals are to face having a Hep C test after a doctor was found to have the virus. The HSE is now in the process of notifying all the women although the HSE has refused to identify the 10 hospitals where he actually worked. It is believed that the doctor who has since returned to the UK worked as a locum obstetrician from 2008.

    The alarm was raised only after the doctor was recently discovered to have the infection. Crucially, since 2008 new full-time employees undergo Hep C screening with there also being a requirement for new locum staff to be screened although the onus is on the agency to ensure that the doctor is given the all clear.

    It must also be stressed at this juncture that the risk of contamination with the virus is quite low at 3.7%. Indeed, a recent review of blood borne virus transmission using a sample of 2000 patients found that no patient was infected by a healthcare worker between the period of 1997-2008.

    A spokeswoman for the HSE has confirmed that all hospitals have been alerted by its infectious disease section .

    The spokeswoman said: “The HSE has recently become aware that a healthcare worker, who has previously worked in hospitals in the Republic of Ireland, was recently diagnosed as having Hepatitis C virus infection.

    “Hospital management in the HSE is working closely with Public Health Departments and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre in relation to this case.

    “An expert group is currently establishing the background to this case to identify what actions, if any, may need to be taken.
    Hundreds of women to face Hep C tests as doctor infected - National News - Independent.ie

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Crucially, since 2008 new full-time employees undergo Hep C screening with there also being a requirement for new locum staff to be screened although the onus is on the agency to ensure that the doctor is given the all clear.
    See now that sounds messed up. You can outsource the service, not the risk. The HSE should have a control in place to check that all Locums have in fact been screened prior to taking their role.

    Out of interest, is there annual screening of doctors for this and other diseases?
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    Politics.ie Member damus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    Out of interest, is there annual screening of doctors for this and other diseases?
    I am not certain....at the start of your contract in a hospital you'd have to go to occupational health for your pre-employment medical and they'd doubly ensure that all your vaccinations etc were up to date at that stage. You'd also have to go to occupational health at regular intervals during the course of your tenure to maintain the jabs....but I am not certain how frequest they'd re-screen for Hep C etc once you start your contract. Another issue that I'd have is around the CVU check....which they only do at the start of your contract....they don't seem to have any control checks in place during the course of your tenure.

    Previously, the system with agency staff was that you were directly employed and paid by the hospital...whereas now they changed the whole system where the agency pays you so they are technically your employer....although under EU law you're entitled to the same terms and conditions as full-time employees who are employed by the hospital.

    I agree with you there should be adequate control checks in the institution to doubly ensure that locums/agency staff are clear.

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    Politics.ie Member Mitsui2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damus View Post
    I agree with you there should be adequate control checks in the institution to doubly ensure that locums/agency staff are clear.
    As Sync indicates, it would seem to be a bit of a no-brainer. I know it's unfair to jump to conclusions, but at first glance I find it hard not to think in terms of Official Ireland's great tradition of "outsourcing" responsibility to the point where it turns out on close examination that nobody actually had any.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsui2 View Post
    As Sync indicates, it would seem to be a bit of a no-brainer. I know it's unfair to jump to conclusions, but at first glance I find it hard not to think in terms of Official Ireland's great tradition of "outsourcing" responsibility to the point where it turns out on close examination that nobody actually had any.
    Responsibility or close examination?
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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Yeah who pays you isn't material to the issue though. If I'm running a business with required checks before certain tasks are performed, then I need to ensure those checks have been performed regardless of who's directly employing them. It's MY business, it's MY risk.

    It's incredibly disappointing to see this sort of control failure pop up again given the problems we've had in this area in the past.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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    And people wonder why Praveen Halappanavar might not want the HSE leading that inquiry
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    Politics.ie Member damus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsui2 View Post
    As Sync indicates, it would seem to be a bit of a no-brainer. I know it's unfair to jump to conclusions, but at first glance I find it hard not to think in terms of Official Ireland's great tradition of "outsourcing" responsibility to the point where it turns out on close examination that nobody actually had any.
    At the end of the day, under health and safety laws the hospital is the one who bears the ultimate responsibility to create a safe working environment and that includes doubly ensuring that those that work in it pose no risk to either patients, colleagues or themselves. It comes down to risk management....

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    Politics.ie Member damus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    Yeah who pays you isn't material to the issue though. If I'm running a business with required checks before certain tasks are performed, then I need to ensure those checks have been performed regardless of who's directly employing them. It's MY business, it's MY risk.

    It's incredibly disappointing to see this sort of control failure pop up again given the problems we've had in this area in the past.
    Yes....it comes under health and safety and risk management. The only time that it would become pertinent to who employs you is in a PI case.

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    Politics.ie Member Mitsui2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutingIsLeadership View Post
    Responsibility or close examination?
    You're spending too much time changing nappies, SIL.

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