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Ambulance centre phone tapping: union files complaint

HSE Ambulance centre, Ballyshannon

HSE Ambulance centre, Ballyshannon

Following revelations that phone calls were taped at the HSE Ambulance Centre in Ballyshannon, IMPACT Trade Union has filed a formal complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC).

Richy Carrothers, IMPACT Assistant General Secretary North West, said that they made the complaint after discovering that non-essential and non emergency telephone calls have been taped without either the knowledge or permission of staff.

He continued: “The revelations came to our attention as part of the recent controversy contained in the RTE Primetime Programme.

“Management have confirmed that all phone calls at the National Ambulance Control in Ballyshannon have been taped without either the knowledge or permission of staff, including all non-emergency and non-essential telephone lines and represents both serious breach of Data Protection legislation and also a serious breach of trust by the HSE.

“I have made a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner and fundamental questions need to be answered as we are talking about human rights within the workplace.”

He noted that, in 2010, the HSE confirmed in writing that calls were not being recorded.

In addition to making a formal complaint to the DPC, he has written to the management of the HSE’s National Ambulance Srevice with a number of questions. He’s seeking coonfirmation that the calls were recorded without the staff’s knowledge or permssion, who authorised the practice and who was aware of it, whether the tapes have been reviewed and , if so, by whom, whether the HSE had informed the DPC, whether the HSE was in compliance with Data Protection legislation and what measures have been taken to rectify the matter.

Mr Corrothers concluded: “The Data Commissioner has acknowledged receipt of our complaint , which will be reviewed following the disclosure by the employer.

“IMPACT is committed to getting the answers required by our members.”

 

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