The cash was taken from a safe at Park House, a residential care unit in Dungloe in recent days.
The cash, believed to be several hundred euro, was being held in trust for the patient, but has since disappeared.
Donegaldaily.com understands the matter is being treated with the utmost seriousness by the Gardai and the HSE.
The HSE Director of Nursing for Donegal, Mr Kevin Mills and Gardai are due to meet at the unit to discuss the incident in the next few days.
The 13 staff at the unit are said to be ‘horrified’ at the theft and the thought of someone breaking into the HSE-owned safe has ‘devastated’ them.
A formal complaint was made to the Gardai by the victim’s family after the money went missing.
Gardai are expected to examine the safe in a bid to find out how it was opened.
In line with recent HSE policy regarding press queries, the authority has refused to comment on the matter.
However a HSE source confirmed to donegaldaily.com that the theft is a major source of embarrassment for the health authority.
The source said there was genuine concern why such a large amount of money belonging to a patient was being kept in a safe belonging to the HSE.
“The reality is if this money is not recovered then it will have to come from the taxpayer. The patient will have to get his money back.
“People are asking why such a large amount of a patient’s money was being held for safe-keeping in a safe at a residential unit? That should never have happened. The HSE is not a bank or a post-office.
“Staff are horrified and devastated that someone could get access to the safe and take this money.
“This has serious implications for the security of the unit,” said the source.
There are approximately 13 patients at Park House at any one time.
The unit is one of four residential units for mental health patients in Donegal – the other three being in Donegal Town, Carndonagh and Letterkenny.Tags: