BREAKING NEWS: The HSE has ordered a full investigation after a ‘spy camera’ was found hidden at Letterkenny General Hospital.
The camera, which was hidden in a cardboard box, was located at a maintenance office and allegedly used for security surveillance.
The CCTV device has now been decommissioned and an investigation is underway to establish why it was necessary in the first place.
Answers are also being sought about how long it was in place and if members of staff at the hospital have been compromised.
The camera was hidden on a shelf with a hole cut out of the cardboard box to spy on staff.
The HSE has confirmed the operation of the secret camera operation to the Tirconail Tribune. They were responding to queries after a whistleblower raised the confidential issue with the paper.
The controversy over the unauthorised monitoring of one sector of staff has been described as a very serious incident that has breached their basic human rights. Serious issues of confidentiality in the workplace also remain to be answered according to workers at the hospital.
This incident has led to worrying concerns about what other covert operations might be taking place at the general hospital or on HSE properties in Donegal.
Staff have expressed concerns that their rights to privacy have been seriously compromised and they are now waiting for further clarification from hospital management.
The issue is also being raised with the Minister for Health in the Dail in the coming week.
A spokesperson for the HSE said that the CCTV camera incident has been the subject of a recent inquiry and a final report is being submitted to hospital management.
The CCTV camera was removed on March 25th. They have not confirmed for how long it was in place or why it was deemed appropriate to have this kind of surveillance undertaken in the first instance.
The HSE confirmed that the unauthorised CCTV camera was in a maintenance office and patients and visitors to the hospital were not affected. Who exactly might have been affected has not been specified.
The HSE spokesman at Setanta Communications said ‘The staff who work in the office were aware of its presence as they had concerns about access to the office. The Hospital Group has grievance procedures in place and management at Letterkenny General Hospital are available to support any staff who have raised concerns about this incident.”
It was reported that workers at the hospital had actually taken photos of the ‘spy camera in a cardboard box’ unaware that their behaviour was also being monitored.
Meanwhile Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn of Sinn Fein has tabled a parliamentary question to the Health Minister on the issue.
The question reads “To ask the Minister if he is aware of reports that surveillance equipment was illegally used in an office used by maintenance staff at Letterkenny General Hospital; further to reassure staff at Letterkenny General Hospital that their right to privacy in the workplace was not compromised and further to establish that this practice has not occurred anywhere else within the Health system and to ensure that it does not recur?”Tags: