Blatant disparity between treatment of service users and senior management at St John of God’s

imelda photo orangeSinn Féin TD for Louth/East Meath, Imelda Munster has again hit out at the HSE and management at St Mary’s in Drumcar, run by St John of God’s, for allowing a situation to develop where upwards of 51 families have been left without respite services for four weeks.

This was due to the HSE pressing St Mary’s at St John of Gods to accept an emergency patient, despite knowing St Mary’s Drumcar has no emergency beds in their service, and in the full knowledge that it would result in the cancellation of pre-booked respite beds for upwards of 51 families.

Deputy Munster said:

“I have serious concerns over the most recent revelations around secret top-up payments to senior staff at St John of God’s, and the fact that CEO John Pepper has employed five of his relatives, including his sons and wife, at the Drumcar campus.

“There have been further revelations reported about multiple payroll systems for senior management. The largest of these payments was over €600,000, which was paid to the Chief Executive”.

Munster also said it was “unbelievable that the HSE has said it was unaware of the revelations until recent weeks, given that St John of God’s is funded with public money by the HSE.”

“Has there been no oversight or no supervision by the HSE, and why did they allow it to go unchecked, and at the same time they were cutting services for vulnerable people?”

“It is outrageous that these families have been left high and dry without respite over the summer months, with cuts to services meaning that patients at their Daycare Centre are now expected to pay €5 a day for their lunch, and a 44 year man with intellectual disabilities is sent to a nursing home for respite”.

“The manner in which these respite services were cancelled, despite families having pre-booked them to coincide with their much-needed holidays can only be described as reckless. There seems to be a major disparity in how service-users and their families are treated, compared to how Mr Pepper and his family reap the benefits of the service through top-ups and jobs for the family.”

Adams raises Sarcoma Cancer Care in the Dáil

DSC_3254_6510Louth TD Gerry Adams today raised the issue of care for patients diagnosed with Sarcoma following representations from constituents in Louth.

Teachta Adams was informed that the contract of Consultant Medical Oncologist, Dr Alexia Bertuzzi, who currently cares for over 300 sarcoma patients at St Vincent’s University Hospital, is due to expire on 30th June.

The Sinn Féin President raised the matter with the Tánaiste saying;

“The Programme for Government states that your Government ‘will ensure appropriate care pathways are in place to improve cancer services’.

“Yet I have been contacted by numerous citizens suffering from a form of cancer called Sarcoma who inform me that the locum contract of their Consultant Medical Oncologist at St Vincent’s Hospital will expire at the end of the week.

“These patients are aware that their Oncologist is being replaced but they fear that the required expertise in Sarcoma will be lost and that consequently their medical outcomes will suffer.

“Tanaiste, can you reassure them that this expert in Sarcoma care will be retained at St Vincent’s?”

In her response the Tánaiste said that the HSE has expressed its confidence that the treatment of sarcoma will not be compromised

Following the exchange, Teachta Adams said;

“Unfortunately the Tánaiste said nothing to allay my concerns and I have subsequently written to the Health Minister urging him to retain this expertise and reassure sarcoma patients that they will continue to have the optimum care for their condition. “