The Health Service Executive (HSE) is carrying out an investigation into an alleged slap on a child by a member of staff at Letterkenny General Hospital.
A member of staff has been suspended over the alleged incident which involved a four-year-old child, the Irish Independent has reported.
The child was accompanied by a parent when the alleged incident took place at the weekend. The parent reported the incident to the HSE.
In a statement the HSE said it is investigating an incident concerning a child who was attending the hospital.
The statement reads: “Letterkenny General Hospital (part of the West/North West Hospitals Group) is investigating a “Trust in care” incident concerning a child who was attending the hospital, accompanied by its parent.
Letterkenny General Hospital is guided by two policies when dealing with such incidents.
The “Children First” policy states that the key principles informing best practice are that the welfare of children is of paramount importance and that all personnel and health professionals, irrespective of the position held within the organisation, have a responsibility towards child protection and welfare.
The “Trust in Care” policy aims to ensure any allegations or complaints against a member of staff are thoroughly investigated. This policy states that, “at an appropriate stage in the process, management should take whatever protective measures are necessary to ensure that no patient/client or staff member is exposed to unacceptable risk. These protective measures are not disciplinary measures and may include putting the staff member off duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.”
In the interests of fairness and to ensure due process, the nature of any investigation is not discussed with third parties not associated with the alleged incident.
When the results of the investigation are known, appropriate action is taken, up to and including disciplinary action and, where appropriate, the reporting of the incident to external authorities.”