"Urgent" birth certificates will be issued - HSE
Parents of new born children at Letterkenny General Hospital will be accommodated if they are in urgent need of a birth certificate the HSE have confirmed.
It follows revelations that no childbirths had been registered at the hospital this year.
They claim work has now begun on the backlog after it was learned no new babies had been resistered since January 1st because of staff shortages.
A HSE response to a query on the matter by the Donegal Democrat stated: "At Letterkenny General Hospital all forms relating to births at the hospital up until 10th January have been forwarded to the Civil Registration Office. The hospital is continuing to work on the backlog of forms. However, if any parents require the documentation in relation to the birth of their child urgently the hospital is accommodating such requests.
Explaining the background situation to the "Birth Registration Process" they state:
"When a baby is born in a hospital, a Birth Notification Form (Form BNF/01) is given to mothers and is completed by one or both of the parents to guarantee that the information to be recorded in the Register of Births is correct and accurate.
Once the mother/parents have completed the form, it is given to hospital staff to enter additional hospital information (the particulars of the birth). The hospital then forwards the form to the Civil Registration Office letting the Registrar know that a birth has occurred. In order to register a birth, the parents must then attend the Civil Registration Office in person to formally register the birth of a child. A Birth Certificate is obtained from the Civil Registration Office and not from the hospital."
Earlier this week the HSE admitted that due to staff shortages, compounded by the take up of the early retirement scheme, new birth certs had not been sent for processing to the Civil Registration Office, the official registration office of births, deaths and marriages.
The matter came to light when a grandfather tried to get a birth certificate for his daughter's baby which was born on January 7th.
He said his understanding was the person who carried out the duty of bringing the records between the hospital and the registrar had retired and was not replaced.
His daughter, a lone parent, required the certificate to claim State support for her child.
The HSE stated a number of posts in the hospital had not been filled since the New Year due to the early retirement scheme in December in 2010.
Ritchy Carrothers of the union IMPACT says they had raised the issue and had attempted to engage with the HSE about filling the posts but they received no response.