a) 410,000 patients each year and has nearly

a)     
Tallaght Hospital is a large teaching hospital
in Dublin which treats around 410,000 patients each year and has nearly 3,000
people in employment. Tallaght Hospital is a Voluntary Hospital and provides
care for approximately 450,000 people mainly in the South of Dublin and some
parts of Kildare. Tallaght Hospital employs regular cleaning staff for the
maintenance of departments. These cleaners are contracted and provide more jobs
in the area. Security and porter jobs are also available within the hospital
and these provide extra hands for the handling of patients as well as patient
enquiries meaning that medical staffs have more time to diagnose and take care
of patients. Tallaght Hospital also has its own cafeteria with which to provide
food and drink both hot and cold to its staff and patients. This provides more
income for the hospital as well as offers a cheap and easy-to-get-to
alternative for staff and patients rather than finding refreshments externally.

 

In 2017 Tallaght Hospital received research
grants of up to €325,000. These grants are given with the hope that the money
can go towards improving healthcare research, education and improve the overall
quality of the healthcare Tallaght Hospital provides. Annually Tallaght
Hospital has a gross budget of more than €0.25 billion and serves a population
of 1.2 million over seven counties.

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Administrative staff starting in Tallaght
Hospital require the completion of their Leaving Certificate which enables them
to work in the hospital as Grade III Clerical Staff. Some experience in
administration or a medical environment is desired but not necessary. With two
or more years’ experience in medical administration, employees are eligible to
apply for a Grade IV position meaning they can stay in a department with a
clinical team. With more experience a Grade V position is available where the
employee would become a team leader.

 

b)     
Tallaght Hospital, as an organisation, aims to
improve healthcare in Ireland. As a teaching hospital one of its main goals to
achieve is to educate and apply new teachings to its staff in order to maximise
productivity. It strives to provide the best healthcare it can provide for the
public by employing well educated staff, from administration and porters, to
nurses and doctors. Most of the administrative staff have a background of
education or experience in administration both general and medical. Doctors and
Nurses have all attained the appropriate qualifications for their roles in the
hospital and contribute daily to how efficiently patients are seen to. Other
main aims of the Hospital are to service the healthcare needs of the community,
to provide care based on the most effective treatments available. With Tallaght
being a teaching hospital it aims to educate students alongside third level
education institutions by putting students in an environment where they can
learn by doing.

 

Tallaght Hospital treats up to 400,000
people annually. Part of this is due to the Hospital having both adult and
paediatric departments. Tallaght Hospital is a national Urology Centre, a
regional orthopaedic trauma centre and is the second largest provider of
dialysis services in Ireland. With an adult and paediatric Accident and
Emergency, Tallaght Hospital has one of the busiest Emergency Departments in
the country.

c)      
Tallaght Hospital has a Mission Statement that
revolves around the patients. Its main aims are to provide healthcare for the
community and for said healthcare to be up to date with modern and effective
practices. Through education and wellbeing the hospital aims to improve the
care of patients and enhance their wellbeing. The hospital supports its staff
in learning and encourages its employees to further educate themselves.
Research to better the care of patients is explored and a voluntary system has
been developed for those who want to help provide for patients.

 

Tallaght Hospital’s core objectives are:

·        
Respect for Patient Autonomy

·        
Respect for Each Other

·        
Caring

·        
Openness

·        
Partnership and Teamwork

·        
Fairness and Equity

 

Management in Tallaght Hospital is topped by
a Hospital Board. The board includes the CEO, Deputy CEO and the Chief
Executive Officer. After this there is an Executive Management Team. This means
that the Hospital’s Directors receive feedback from multiple people, from
different areas of the hospital which leads to many different opinions being
heard and taken into account. Cultural values are taken into account as a
result of these different opinions and views being shared. Proof of how this is
true can be seen in the registering system of the Hospital. Certain information
must be obtained from a patient in order for a Medical Record Number to be
created for them. Without this information, a number cannot be generated so the
patient must be asked. One of these criteria is the patient’s religion. There
are many options available that can be input for a patient but the fact that
these options are there and that they are mandatory means that they cannot be
accidentally overlooked. A patient’s beliefs are respected and acknowledged in
Tallaght Hospital as a result.

 

2. Key factors that
impact the work practice organisation

a)     
Tallaght Hospital is part of the World Health
Organisation (WHO). Ireland placed 13th in a recent ranking of
global healthcare of 195 countries worldwide. As part of such a large network
of hospitals, Tallaght Hospital could learn new ways to treat illnesses and
ways to efficiently see to patients so that they get the care they need as
quickly as possible. New technologies are constantly being developed to treat
disorders and conditions. As well as technological advances for medical
purposes there are also developments in technology that increase the speed at
which administrative staff can work. Things such as automated scanners to sort
letters and reports mean that more time can be spent attending to patients and
ensuring their visit to the hospital is as quick as possible.

 

Other devices such as faster computers and
multifunctional printers that can scan, fax and email all with the touch of a button
are being implemented into hospitals on a regular basis, speeding up the
process at which patient documents travel from department to department through
the hospital. Slowly, hard copies of patient document’s, are being transferred
to digital copies which means that finding charts for patients will be a much
easier and quicker task to accomplish for doctors, nurses and administrative
staff alike. As well as patient documents being easier to find, it also means
that these charts cannot get lost or damaged. Charts can be backed up and
stored in much smaller areas and sorted chronologically or alphabetically on
computers. Doctors would commonly have to wait for charts for patients before
they can assess and diagnose them but with soft copies of a patient’s chart it
means that they can be seen much quicker and avoid waiting for other
departments to deliver charts.

 

b)     
Data Protection in Tallaght Hospital and all
hospitals is very important. Data on a patient’s health is personal and must be
protected from even member of that patient’s family. A patient cannot obtain
their own, or another’s medical records without contacting a member of staff in
Tallaght Hospital under the Freedom of Information Act or the Data Protection
Act. This ensures that only the correct people obtain records and for the right
reasons such as for proof of injury in a legal case or for their own personal
knowledge of how they were treated. How this policy can impact work on a
day-to-day basis in Tallaght Hospital is if someone approaches a member of
administrative staff asking to see their records. This staff member must inform
the person that they cannot give sensitive information and proceed to give them
any information they might need to go about obtaining what they are looking
for. A majority of the time, the contact details necessary are simply a phone
number and from time to time an email address. On an overall scale, patients
records must be retrieved by some member of staff and delivered to the
appropriate person within the hospital for review and then to be sent by the
patient.

 

c)      
Diversity in Tallaght Hospital is very apparent.
There are many members of staff from many different countries, religious creeds
and ethnicities. Nurses and Doctors speak an array of languages which can help
for communication with patients. Cleaners and security also help to translate
for patients when registering and sometimes when explaining their ailments.

 

Within a hospital environment, privacy can
be affected simply by a member of staff knowing a patient personally. If an
employee’s neighbour was to attend the hospital as a patient for example, they
might not want that employee to know why they are attending the hospital. The
larger the hospital grows, the larger the risk of staff knowing patients grows,
as more employees need to be hired to maintain the hospital. This breach of
privacy would be a common occurrence in hospitals and how staff avoid this
issue is by delegating work that would affect a patient’s privacy to another
member of staff within the department.

 

Animals are also used to test drugs to see
their effectiveness. Animals are also used to obtain certain hormones and
substances that can be used to manufacture medicines. Some of these animals are
treated cruelly and the advances in medicine that are being made are at the
cost of animals lives such as mice, pigs and primates. As an example, pigs are
used for their insulin. When someone diabetes they need regular injections of
insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels. However, insulin is not obtained
from other people but rather from pigs, which is then manufactured into a drug
known as Humulin and distributed to treat diabetics. Primates are used to test
drugs as their DNA and anatomy is very similar to that of humans, so results
obtained from any tests done can be applied to a human trial without
endangering people.

 

d)     
The HSE in Ireland made cuts of €2.7 billion
meaning hospitals all over Ireland were forced to work with a smaller budget.
As well as Tallaght Hospital receiving a smaller budget, other things affected
how many patients attended the hospital. The recession caused mental health
issues in a lot of people as they struggled to survive with what they could.
This brought more people to Tallaght Hospital in search of guidance and treatment.
All staff in a hospital is necessary for it to work effectively. The reduced
budget saw a cut in staff in Tallaght Hospital meaning a less efficient
hospital overall. Prescriptions provided for patients were also more expensive
as well as an increased charge for patients to visit the hospital. The amount
of inpatients and outpatient cases also dropped significantly due to the lack
of staff. Fewer beds were available for patients meaning longer waits for
A&E as well as less efficient treatments.

 

3. Health, safety and
welfare at work: employment and equality

a)     
The Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Acts (2005
and 2010) apply to all employers, employees and any self-employed person in the
workplace. The Acts set out the obligations of each party under this Act and
outlines fines and penalties involved with the breach of this legislation.

 

An employer has the obligation to provide
and maintain a safe working environment for their employees. They must work to
prevent any improper behaviour which may lead to an employee’s health, safety
or welfare being at risk in the workplace. The employer must provide training
on health and safety as well as provide any protective clothing or items that
an employee might need. A competent Safety Officer must also be appointed by an
employer to ensure the standards of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Acts
are met.

 

An employee also has obligations to ensure
their safety in the workplace. Some of these responsibilities are that the
employee has the duty to take reasonable care in the workplace to ensure their
own health, safety and welfare as well as others around them. An employee must
not engage in any inappropriate behaviour that might put them or any other
employee at risk. The employee must not be under the influence of alcohol or
drugs. An employee must undergo any reasonable medical or other assessment on
request of their employer. Employees must report defects in equipment that
could lead to an employee, employer or any member of the public’s health,
safety or welfare being endangered.

 

In a wide range of employment and
employment-related areas, discrimination is outlawed by the Employment Equality
Acts (1998-2015). The areas covered by the Act include; recruitment and promotion,
training or experience, dismissal or harassment; including sexual harassment,
working conditions and equal pay. Discrimination is defined as one person who
is treated less favourably than another based on 9 grounds. The grounds are as
follows:

·        
Gender: This includes man, woman and transgender.

·        
Civil Status: This includes single, married,
separated, divorced, widowed people, civil partners and former civil partners.

·        
Family Status: This refers to the parent of a
person under 18 years or the resident primary carer or parents of a person with
a disability.

·        
Sexual Orientation: Includes gay, lesbian,
bisexual and heterosexual.

·        
Religion: This means religious beliefs,
background, outlook and more.

·        
Age: This does not apply to a person aged under
16.

·        
Disability: Includes people with physical,
intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical
conditions.

·        
Race: Includes race, skin colour, nationality or
ethnic origin.

·        
Membership of the traveller community.

 

If an employee is treated less favourably
than another it is considered discrimination only if they are treated in a
comparable situation and it is included in one of the 9 grounds stated
previously. In order to identify discrimination, a direct comparison must be
made. For example, in a case of discrimination of race, a comparison must be
made between two different people of different races, skin colour or
nationality or ethnic origin. If it is seen that one of these employees is
treated less favourably than the other due to any of these things, it is
discrimination.

 

In context to Tallaght Hospital, there are
internal policies that ensure the protection of patients and employees alike. Confidentiality
in hospitals is very important and many measures are taken to ensure the
appropriate handling of patient’s personal information and details. Staff in
Tallaght Hospital are not to discuss workings of staff or the hospital in general
as well as patients outside of the hospital except as part of their work. No
documents of the hospital or any property are to be removed from the hospital
without authorisation.

 

Hours of work can vary in the hospital and
are outlined by managers to employees. Hours given to staff are to ensure that
appropriate levels in staff are present throughout the day. Daily and Weekly
rest breaks are granted in accordance to the provisions of the Organisation of
Working Time Act (1997). As part of this act employees are required to notify
management of any work they may attend outside of the hospital as to ensure
that an employee is not working more than the maximum amount of hours they are
permitted to work within a period of time. Annual leave in Tallaght Hospital is
calculated from 1st April to the 31st of March every
year. It is requested of staff that they take at least 75% of their annual
leave prior to the month of December and that any days taken for annual leave
are discussed with the manager. It is also advised that staff do not plan
holidays without discussing dates with managers as dates they pick are not
guaranteed.

 

The Dignity at Work Policy is another policy
practiced in Tallaght Hospital. The Dignity at Work Policy aims to ensure all
employees in the workplace are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.
The policy is in place to promote a working environment where employees can
feel safe, valued and respected. Whether it is carried out by a person an
employee comes into contact with during the course of their work or a
colleague, the policies goal is to protect employees from harassment, sexual
harassment and bullying. Advice is available from an Employee Assistance
Programme, Occupational Health, Support Contact People, Line Managers and Human
Resources. A Support Contact Person is a member of staff in the Hospital that
has been trained to support an employee that feels as though they may have been
a victim of harassment, sexual harassment or bullying.

 

4. Internal and
external policies and procedures

a)     
Some policies, that Tallaght Hospital promotes,
include the Protected Disclosure of Information. Tallaght Hospital aims to
create a culture of openness and accountability which will enable staff to
report any concerns they may have about the workplace. Employees are encouraged
to escalate incidents by contacting the appropriate incident management and to
do so in line with risk escalation policies. Employees can also disclose in
good faith in a protected environment when they have reason to believe that
service user’s health or welfare may be at risk, as to have the matter
investigated. The protected Disclosure Act (2014) enables health employees to
make protected disclosures without fear of civil liability or penalisation from
employers.

 

There are nine official public holidays in
a year. Locum or part-time staff who have worked for the five week period
before the public holiday and have completed at least 40 hours are entitled to
public holiday benefits. Payment is based on 1/5 of their normal weekly hours
worked. The Organisation of Working Time Act (1997) considers a public holiday
as a statutory entitlement and should not be confused with Bank Holidays to
which there is no legal entitlement as they are not covered by the Act.

 

Sick leave in Tallaght hospital provides
for payment for employees during absences from work due to injury or illness.
In a rolling four year period, an employee is entitled to a maximum of 183
calendar days of paid sick leave. This includes a maximum of 92 days on full
pay in one year followed by 91 days on half pay. If a member of staff is to be
absent due to injury or illness, a supervisor or head of department must be
notified directly. The notification must be before the employee is to start
their shift and no later than 2 hours before their shift begins. In the case
where a supervisor or manager is not available it is the responsibility of the
employee contacting to record the name of the person they have informed. If
this is not possible another supervisor or manager is to be contacted. Upon
failure to contact a manager or supervisor, an absence of an employee will be
considered unpaid leave. Messages left on machines are not acceptable. Career
breaks can be granted to staff for periods of not less than one year and no
more than five years.

 

Interaction of work and health and how the
two affect one another are important in hospitals. The Occupational Health
Department focuses specifically on how tasks at work or the work environment affects
health and how an employee’s health affects their ability to do their job. It
aims to promote physical and psychological wellbeing and does so by providing a
confidential medical service which deals with work-related health issues. The
Occupational Health Department offers; Occupational health education, vision
screening and work station assessments, health surveillance and periodic
assessments, advice on fitness for work issues and the promotion of a healthy
work environment.

 

Tallaght Hospital aims to create equality,
diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Equality, diversity and inclusion is
promoted by cultivating a working and learning environment which upholds the
dignity and respect of each employee. Tallaght Hospital strives to treat all
staff equal regardless of gender, age, disability, race, civil status, sexual
orientation, family status or membership of the travelling community. Employees
are provided with opportunities to grow and develop their careers in a diverse
and inclusive nature.

 

Health and safety in Tallaght Hospital is
upheld by the Environment, Health and Safety Department. This department’s
purpose is to advise senior management in the hospital with regards to
following health and safety legislation and how best to practice this. It also
cultivates a positive health and safety environment and culture within the
hospital. A Fire Safety Officer is appointed to the hospital and oversees the
Management of Fire Safety in the workplace. All staff has the responsibility to
take necessary precautions to prevent fires as well as lead to their quick
extinguishment. All staff must be familiar with fire exits, assembly points,
fire extinguishers and fire appliances within their area of work. Fire safety
training is available to all members of staff and is mandatory. Manual Handling
training in the workplace is a mandatory requirement for staff to attend. This
mandatory training is under the legislation of The Safety, Health and Welfare
at Work (General Application) Regulations (2007).

 

Tallaght Hospital has skills and experience
in improving the quality of a patient’s visit to the hospital. It aims to improve
their experience by using specific techniques in a systematic approach to
improve quality. Quality improvement is implemented through a project
management methodology from a Model for Quality Improvement that has been
developed. If a staff member wishes to be up skilled in the area of quality
improvement or wishes to be involved in the Quality Improvement Project,
mentoring and training is available upon request. Incident and Risk management
requests that staff report any incidents or near misses that could have led to
unintended injury; either physical or psychological, disability, disease or
death of a patient, staff member or visitor. These incidents are required to be
reported as precautions can then be taken to avoid these incidents from
happening again.

 

a)     
Tallaght Hospital is a large teaching hospital
in Dublin which treats around 410,000 patients each year and has nearly 3,000
people in employment. Tallaght Hospital is a Voluntary Hospital and provides
care for approximately 450,000 people mainly in the South of Dublin and some
parts of Kildare. Tallaght Hospital employs regular cleaning staff for the
maintenance of departments. These cleaners are contracted and provide more jobs
in the area. Security and porter jobs are also available within the hospital
and these provide extra hands for the handling of patients as well as patient
enquiries meaning that medical staffs have more time to diagnose and take care
of patients. Tallaght Hospital also has its own cafeteria with which to provide
food and drink both hot and cold to its staff and patients. This provides more
income for the hospital as well as offers a cheap and easy-to-get-to
alternative for staff and patients rather than finding refreshments externally.

 

In 2017 Tallaght Hospital received research
grants of up to €325,000. These grants are given with the hope that the money
can go towards improving healthcare research, education and improve the overall
quality of the healthcare Tallaght Hospital provides. Annually Tallaght
Hospital has a gross budget of more than €0.25 billion and serves a population
of 1.2 million over seven counties.

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Administrative staff starting in Tallaght
Hospital require the completion of their Leaving Certificate which enables them
to work in the hospital as Grade III Clerical Staff. Some experience in
administration or a medical environment is desired but not necessary. With two
or more years’ experience in medical administration, employees are eligible to
apply for a Grade IV position meaning they can stay in a department with a
clinical team. With more experience a Grade V position is available where the
employee would become a team leader.

 

b)     
Tallaght Hospital, as an organisation, aims to
improve healthcare in Ireland. As a teaching hospital one of its main goals to
achieve is to educate and apply new teachings to its staff in order to maximise
productivity. It strives to provide the best healthcare it can provide for the
public by employing well educated staff, from administration and porters, to
nurses and doctors. Most of the administrative staff have a background of
education or experience in administration both general and medical. Doctors and
Nurses have all attained the appropriate qualifications for their roles in the
hospital and contribute daily to how efficiently patients are seen to. Other
main aims of the Hospital are to service the healthcare needs of the community,
to provide care based on the most effective treatments available. With Tallaght
being a teaching hospital it aims to educate students alongside third level
education institutions by putting students in an environment where they can
learn by doing.

 

Tallaght Hospital treats up to 400,000
people annually. Part of this is due to the Hospital having both adult and
paediatric departments. Tallaght Hospital is a national Urology Centre, a
regional orthopaedic trauma centre and is the second largest provider of
dialysis services in Ireland. With an adult and paediatric Accident and
Emergency, Tallaght Hospital has one of the busiest Emergency Departments in
the country.

c)      
Tallaght Hospital has a Mission Statement that
revolves around the patients. Its main aims are to provide healthcare for the
community and for said healthcare to be up to date with modern and effective
practices. Through education and wellbeing the hospital aims to improve the
care of patients and enhance their wellbeing. The hospital supports its staff
in learning and encourages its employees to further educate themselves.
Research to better the care of patients is explored and a voluntary system has
been developed for those who want to help provide for patients.

 

Tallaght Hospital’s core objectives are:

·        
Respect for Patient Autonomy

·        
Respect for Each Other

·        
Caring

·        
Openness

·        
Partnership and Teamwork

·        
Fairness and Equity

 

Management in Tallaght Hospital is topped by
a Hospital Board. The board includes the CEO, Deputy CEO and the Chief
Executive Officer. After this there is an Executive Management Team. This means
that the Hospital’s Directors receive feedback from multiple people, from
different areas of the hospital which leads to many different opinions being
heard and taken into account. Cultural values are taken into account as a
result of these different opinions and views being shared. Proof of how this is
true can be seen in the registering system of the Hospital. Certain information
must be obtained from a patient in order for a Medical Record Number to be
created for them. Without this information, a number cannot be generated so the
patient must be asked. One of these criteria is the patient’s religion. There
are many options available that can be input for a patient but the fact that
these options are there and that they are mandatory means that they cannot be
accidentally overlooked. A patient’s beliefs are respected and acknowledged in
Tallaght Hospital as a result.

 

2. Key factors that
impact the work practice organisation

a)     
Tallaght Hospital is part of the World Health
Organisation (WHO). Ireland placed 13th in a recent ranking of
global healthcare of 195 countries worldwide. As part of such a large network
of hospitals, Tallaght Hospital could learn new ways to treat illnesses and
ways to efficiently see to patients so that they get the care they need as
quickly as possible. New technologies are constantly being developed to treat
disorders and conditions. As well as technological advances for medical
purposes there are also developments in technology that increase the speed at
which administrative staff can work. Things such as automated scanners to sort
letters and reports mean that more time can be spent attending to patients and
ensuring their visit to the hospital is as quick as possible.

 

Other devices such as faster computers and
multifunctional printers that can scan, fax and email all with the touch of a button
are being implemented into hospitals on a regular basis, speeding up the
process at which patient documents travel from department to department through
the hospital. Slowly, hard copies of patient document’s, are being transferred
to digital copies which means that finding charts for patients will be a much
easier and quicker task to accomplish for doctors, nurses and administrative
staff alike. As well as patient documents being easier to find, it also means
that these charts cannot get lost or damaged. Charts can be backed up and
stored in much smaller areas and sorted chronologically or alphabetically on
computers. Doctors would commonly have to wait for charts for patients before
they can assess and diagnose them but with soft copies of a patient’s chart it
means that they can be seen much quicker and avoid waiting for other
departments to deliver charts.

 

b)     
Data Protection in Tallaght Hospital and all
hospitals is very important. Data on a patient’s health is personal and must be
protected from even member of that patient’s family. A patient cannot obtain
their own, or another’s medical records without contacting a member of staff in
Tallaght Hospital under the Freedom of Information Act or the Data Protection
Act. This ensures that only the correct people obtain records and for the right
reasons such as for proof of injury in a legal case or for their own personal
knowledge of how they were treated. How this policy can impact work on a
day-to-day basis in Tallaght Hospital is if someone approaches a member of
administrative staff asking to see their records. This staff member must inform
the person that they cannot give sensitive information and proceed to give them
any information they might need to go about obtaining what they are looking
for. A majority of the time, the contact details necessary are simply a phone
number and from time to time an email address. On an overall scale, patients
records must be retrieved by some member of staff and delivered to the
appropriate person within the hospital for review and then to be sent by the
patient.

 

c)      
Diversity in Tallaght Hospital is very apparent.
There are many members of staff from many different countries, religious creeds
and ethnicities. Nurses and Doctors speak an array of languages which can help
for communication with patients. Cleaners and security also help to translate
for patients when registering and sometimes when explaining their ailments.

 

Within a hospital environment, privacy can
be affected simply by a member of staff knowing a patient personally. If an
employee’s neighbour was to attend the hospital as a patient for example, they
might not want that employee to know why they are attending the hospital. The
larger the hospital grows, the larger the risk of staff knowing patients grows,
as more employees need to be hired to maintain the hospital. This breach of
privacy would be a common occurrence in hospitals and how staff avoid this
issue is by delegating work that would affect a patient’s privacy to another
member of staff within the department.

 

Animals are also used to test drugs to see
their effectiveness. Animals are also used to obtain certain hormones and
substances that can be used to manufacture medicines. Some of these animals are
treated cruelly and the advances in medicine that are being made are at the
cost of animals lives such as mice, pigs and primates. As an example, pigs are
used for their insulin. When someone diabetes they need regular injections of
insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels. However, insulin is not obtained
from other people but rather from pigs, which is then manufactured into a drug
known as Humulin and distributed to treat diabetics. Primates are used to test
drugs as their DNA and anatomy is very similar to that of humans, so results
obtained from any tests done can be applied to a human trial without
endangering people.

 

d)     
The HSE in Ireland made cuts of €2.7 billion
meaning hospitals all over Ireland were forced to work with a smaller budget.
As well as Tallaght Hospital receiving a smaller budget, other things affected
how many patients attended the hospital. The recession caused mental health
issues in a lot of people as they struggled to survive with what they could.
This brought more people to Tallaght Hospital in search of guidance and treatment.
All staff in a hospital is necessary for it to work effectively. The reduced
budget saw a cut in staff in Tallaght Hospital meaning a less efficient
hospital overall. Prescriptions provided for patients were also more expensive
as well as an increased charge for patients to visit the hospital. The amount
of inpatients and outpatient cases also dropped significantly due to the lack
of staff. Fewer beds were available for patients meaning longer waits for
A&E as well as less efficient treatments.

 

3. Health, safety and
welfare at work: employment and equality

a)     
The Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Acts (2005
and 2010) apply to all employers, employees and any self-employed person in the
workplace. The Acts set out the obligations of each party under this Act and
outlines fines and penalties involved with the breach of this legislation.

 

An employer has the obligation to provide
and maintain a safe working environment for their employees. They must work to
prevent any improper behaviour which may lead to an employee’s health, safety
or welfare being at risk in the workplace. The employer must provide training
on health and safety as well as provide any protective clothing or items that
an employee might need. A competent Safety Officer must also be appointed by an
employer to ensure the standards of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Acts
are met.

 

An employee also has obligations to ensure
their safety in the workplace. Some of these responsibilities are that the
employee has the duty to take reasonable care in the workplace to ensure their
own health, safety and welfare as well as others around them. An employee must
not engage in any inappropriate behaviour that might put them or any other
employee at risk. The employee must not be under the influence of alcohol or
drugs. An employee must undergo any reasonable medical or other assessment on
request of their employer. Employees must report defects in equipment that
could lead to an employee, employer or any member of the public’s health,
safety or welfare being endangered.

 

In a wide range of employment and
employment-related areas, discrimination is outlawed by the Employment Equality
Acts (1998-2015). The areas covered by the Act include; recruitment and promotion,
training or experience, dismissal or harassment; including sexual harassment,
working conditions and equal pay. Discrimination is defined as one person who
is treated less favourably than another based on 9 grounds. The grounds are as
follows:

·        
Gender: This includes man, woman and transgender.

·        
Civil Status: This includes single, married,
separated, divorced, widowed people, civil partners and former civil partners.

·        
Family Status: This refers to the parent of a
person under 18 years or the resident primary carer or parents of a person with
a disability.

·        
Sexual Orientation: Includes gay, lesbian,
bisexual and heterosexual.

·        
Religion: This means religious beliefs,
background, outlook and more.

·        
Age: This does not apply to a person aged under
16.

·        
Disability: Includes people with physical,
intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical
conditions.

·        
Race: Includes race, skin colour, nationality or
ethnic origin.

·        
Membership of the traveller community.

 

If an employee is treated less favourably
than another it is considered discrimination only if they are treated in a
comparable situation and it is included in one of the 9 grounds stated
previously. In order to identify discrimination, a direct comparison must be
made. For example, in a case of discrimination of race, a comparison must be
made between two different people of different races, skin colour or
nationality or ethnic origin. If it is seen that one of these employees is
treated less favourably than the other due to any of these things, it is
discrimination.

 

In context to Tallaght Hospital, there are
internal policies that ensure the protection of patients and employees alike. Confidentiality
in hospitals is very important and many measures are taken to ensure the
appropriate handling of patient’s personal information and details. Staff in
Tallaght Hospital are not to discuss workings of staff or the hospital in general
as well as patients outside of the hospital except as part of their work. No
documents of the hospital or any property are to be removed from the hospital
without authorisation.

 

Hours of work can vary in the hospital and
are outlined by managers to employees. Hours given to staff are to ensure that
appropriate levels in staff are present throughout the day. Daily and Weekly
rest breaks are granted in accordance to the provisions of the Organisation of
Working Time Act (1997). As part of this act employees are required to notify
management of any work they may attend outside of the hospital as to ensure
that an employee is not working more than the maximum amount of hours they are
permitted to work within a period of time. Annual leave in Tallaght Hospital is
calculated from 1st April to the 31st of March every
year. It is requested of staff that they take at least 75% of their annual
leave prior to the month of December and that any days taken for annual leave
are discussed with the manager. It is also advised that staff do not plan
holidays without discussing dates with managers as dates they pick are not
guaranteed.

 

The Dignity at Work Policy is another policy
practiced in Tallaght Hospital. The Dignity at Work Policy aims to ensure all
employees in the workplace are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.
The policy is in place to promote a working environment where employees can
feel safe, valued and respected. Whether it is carried out by a person an
employee comes into contact with during the course of their work or a
colleague, the policies goal is to protect employees from harassment, sexual
harassment and bullying. Advice is available from an Employee Assistance
Programme, Occupational Health, Support Contact People, Line Managers and Human
Resources. A Support Contact Person is a member of staff in the Hospital that
has been trained to support an employee that feels as though they may have been
a victim of harassment, sexual harassment or bullying.

 

4. Internal and
external policies and procedures

a)     
Some policies, that Tallaght Hospital promotes,
include the Protected Disclosure of Information. Tallaght Hospital aims to
create a culture of openness and accountability which will enable staff to
report any concerns they may have about the workplace. Employees are encouraged
to escalate incidents by contacting the appropriate incident management and to
do so in line with risk escalation policies. Employees can also disclose in
good faith in a protected environment when they have reason to believe that
service user’s health or welfare may be at risk, as to have the matter
investigated. The protected Disclosure Act (2014) enables health employees to
make protected disclosures without fear of civil liability or penalisation from
employers.

 

There are nine official public holidays in
a year. Locum or part-time staff who have worked for the five week period
before the public holiday and have completed at least 40 hours are entitled to
public holiday benefits. Payment is based on 1/5 of their normal weekly hours
worked. The Organisation of Working Time Act (1997) considers a public holiday
as a statutory entitlement and should not be confused with Bank Holidays to
which there is no legal entitlement as they are not covered by the Act.

 

Sick leave in Tallaght hospital provides
for payment for employees during absences from work due to injury or illness.
In a rolling four year period, an employee is entitled to a maximum of 183
calendar days of paid sick leave. This includes a maximum of 92 days on full
pay in one year followed by 91 days on half pay. If a member of staff is to be
absent due to injury or illness, a supervisor or head of department must be
notified directly. The notification must be before the employee is to start
their shift and no later than 2 hours before their shift begins. In the case
where a supervisor or manager is not available it is the responsibility of the
employee contacting to record the name of the person they have informed. If
this is not possible another supervisor or manager is to be contacted. Upon
failure to contact a manager or supervisor, an absence of an employee will be
considered unpaid leave. Messages left on machines are not acceptable. Career
breaks can be granted to staff for periods of not less than one year and no
more than five years.

 

Interaction of work and health and how the
two affect one another are important in hospitals. The Occupational Health
Department focuses specifically on how tasks at work or the work environment affects
health and how an employee’s health affects their ability to do their job. It
aims to promote physical and psychological wellbeing and does so by providing a
confidential medical service which deals with work-related health issues. The
Occupational Health Department offers; Occupational health education, vision
screening and work station assessments, health surveillance and periodic
assessments, advice on fitness for work issues and the promotion of a healthy
work environment.

 

Tallaght Hospital aims to create equality,
diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Equality, diversity and inclusion is
promoted by cultivating a working and learning environment which upholds the
dignity and respect of each employee. Tallaght Hospital strives to treat all
staff equal regardless of gender, age, disability, race, civil status, sexual
orientation, family status or membership of the travelling community. Employees
are provided with opportunities to grow and develop their careers in a diverse
and inclusive nature.

 

Health and safety in Tallaght Hospital is
upheld by the Environment, Health and Safety Department. This department’s
purpose is to advise senior management in the hospital with regards to
following health and safety legislation and how best to practice this. It also
cultivates a positive health and safety environment and culture within the
hospital. A Fire Safety Officer is appointed to the hospital and oversees the
Management of Fire Safety in the workplace. All staff has the responsibility to
take necessary precautions to prevent fires as well as lead to their quick
extinguishment. All staff must be familiar with fire exits, assembly points,
fire extinguishers and fire appliances within their area of work. Fire safety
training is available to all members of staff and is mandatory. Manual Handling
training in the workplace is a mandatory requirement for staff to attend. This
mandatory training is under the legislation of The Safety, Health and Welfare
at Work (General Application) Regulations (2007).

 

Tallaght Hospital has skills and experience
in improving the quality of a patient’s visit to the hospital. It aims to improve
their experience by using specific techniques in a systematic approach to
improve quality. Quality improvement is implemented through a project
management methodology from a Model for Quality Improvement that has been
developed. If a staff member wishes to be up skilled in the area of quality
improvement or wishes to be involved in the Quality Improvement Project,
mentoring and training is available upon request. Incident and Risk management
requests that staff report any incidents or near misses that could have led to
unintended injury; either physical or psychological, disability, disease or
death of a patient, staff member or visitor. These incidents are required to be
reported as precautions can then be taken to avoid these incidents from
happening again.

 

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