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According to the hospital’s annual report for 2016, with each intake of doctors there is a “large” verification process undertaken in consultation with the medical administration department
“While all our consultants are now compliant with this directive [HSE HR Circular 012/2009], we are challenged every year to achieve compliance in our mobile NCHD population who work in the hospital but fail to present themselves for occupational health clearance,” stated the report. “This is now listed as a risk on the hospital’s risk register, a decision justified by the observation that during 2016 several more surgical NCHDs failed to be cleared in accordance with national guidelines.”
The report noted that the HSE’s National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) unit had launched its National Employment Record (NER) for doctors, but the occupational health window had not yet been rolled out. “It is hoped that in time, once this is fully operational, it will be possible to remove this particular organisational risk from the hospital’s risk register.”
Beaumont Hospital failed to issue any response to the Medical Independent on the issue.
A spokesperson for the HSE said statistics on compliance with the EPP circular have not been collated nationally. “A national IT project is currently underway to standardise OH [occupational health] systems and the data will be collected centrally by the end of 2018. Possession of an EPP certificate for those in EPP jobs is fitness determining, so staff cannot start work until they are cleared. Efforts have be made to implement this retrospectively, for staff employed pre-2009 with mixed experiences.”
In May 2017, an Occupational Health Module was launched as part of the Doctors Integrated Management (DIME) system, added the spokesperson. “NCHDs now complete their pre-employment health questionnaire electronically, and have a facility to upload supporting documents including immune status reports as required. This new module is being rolled out nationally to all Occupational Health Departments.”