THE Saolta University Healthcare Group said it has “grave concerns” about the impact of the spreading of disinformation on staff and patients.
It comes after a video was posted online allegedly showing a Covid-19 patient being encouraged to leave Letterkenny University Hospital by another man.
A staff member was videoed appealing for the man to stay in hospital.
It is understood that the patient has since been re-admitted to LUH.
Gardai confirmed that they responded to a report of a disturbance at Letterkenny University Hospital on September 14, 2021.
However, on arrival those involved were no longer present.
It was one of two alleged incidents involving Covid-19 deniers at Saolta healthcare facilities in recent days.
In a statement to the Donegal News, the hospital group confirmed that it was “aware of two incidents where groups have spread disinformation” at its hospital sites.
Saolta said that patient safety and care is of paramount importance to the group, noting that hospitals across the region are under extreme pressure as a result of record levels of attendances of both Covid and non-Covid patients.
“The deliberate spreading of dis-information and at times defamatory comments against named staff members along with the posting of these videos on social media platforms is adding significantly to the burden already facing healthcare professionals.
“While Saolta endeavours to facilitate patient visiting when possible, incidence like this are highly disruptive and upsetting in clinical settings,” the statement read.
The spokesperson added that they cannot comment on individual cases.
“Maintaining a patient’s confidentiality is not only an ethical requirement for the HSE and all HSE funded hospitals; it is also a legal requirement as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) along with the Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2018.
“When a patient or family makes personal information public, this does not relieve the HSE and all HSE funded hospitals of its duty to preserve/uphold patient confidentiality at all times.”
Meanwhile, all hospitals under the Saolta governance are facilitating patient visiting in line with national guidance.
All visits to in-patients are pre-arranged and facilitated at the request of the patient. People coming to the hospital must continue to follow all the public health guidance including wearing a face mask and using hand gel regularly. Visitors are required to complete a screening checklist regarding Covid-19, prior to visiting the hospital.
“If any member of the public fails to follow these guidelines while on site they are asked to leave the hospital.
“Members of the security team are involved in any incident which escalates and An Garda Siochána are involved where appropriate.
“In respect of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, and the treatment of patients who have been hospitalised due to COVID-19, we advise people to get their information from reputable sources, and follow the public health advice that is available on hse.ie and gov.ie,” the statement read.
Posted: 9:35 am September 17, 2021