Donegal Deputy Padraig Mac Lochlainn has written to Health Minister Leo Varadkar demanding an independent inquiry into flooding at Letterkenny General Hospital.
The Sinn Fein TD says the public’s confidence in the location, planning and design of the building is “now in shreds.”
He said another investigation and remedial action by the HSE is now not good enough.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn even suggested points of reference for any inquiry which may be held.
He asked Minister Varadkar “I am asking you and your Government colleagues to instigate a full independent inquiry. I believe that the public interest would best be served if this were to be a Commission of Investigation, led by a suitably qualified retired judge with a panel of experts appointed by and available to him or her.”
He added that the people of Donegal have been forced to endure a serious curtailment of hospital services as a result of the flooding.
The following is the full text of the letter sent by Deputy Mac Lochlainn to Minister Varadkar.
Dear Minister Varadkar,
As you aware, the site of the medical block at Letterkenny General Hospital with the Accident and Emergency Ward on the ground floor, was flooded again recently for the third time. I understand that it was initially flooded during the construction phase.
As you can appreciate, the confidence of the people of Donegal in the location, planning and design of this block is now in shreds. They have also endured the serious curtailment of services, at times, at their hospital as a result. Not to mention the financial cost.
Another investigation and remedial action by the HSE will not suffice.
I am asking you and your Government colleagues to instigate a full independent inquiry. I believe that the public interest would best be served if this were to be a Commission of Investigation, led by a suitably qualified retired judge with a panel of experts appointed by and available to him or her.
In relation to the terms of reference for the investigation, I would suggest the following:
That the investigation examine the location, planning and design of the block and review the various flooding incidents that have occurred from the “turning of the sod” through to the present.
The investigation must include full access to all data held by the relevant national and local government bodies and building contractors, from incubation, conception, delivery and sign off. This should include access to internal and external recruitment from the HSE for the project management team (office) to ensure that the employees who were in daily control of the project were hired in accordance with the Governments own legislation based on competence, experience and qualifications.
At least one member of the expert panel to be appointed should have extensive troubleshooting and multi phased project experience to allow cohesion with the rest of the panel and to clarify on each specialty and areas of difference (an information developer)
Full and unrestrictive access to all of the projects communications, electronic, hard copy and data storage to include but not exhaustive of all email and hard copy documents.
Entire collection of project/programme controls, monitoring and evaluation, budgets, risk analysis, risk and controls logs, minutes of meetings from both internal, external, multi-tier organisations and internal and external minutes of meetings.
The entire collection of ‘Business Case’ management files and the compiled and unedited versions of all of the projects workings.
To report back to Government and the Houses of the Oireachtas within a six month period or in a shorter time frame if possible.
This is not offered as an exhaustive terms of reference but merely suggestions on my behalf.
Minister, I am available to meet with you and discuss these matters at your convenience.
Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD
Donegal North East