The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016, which came into effect on 29 April 2016, makes it mandatory for people working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Garda Síochána National Vetting Bureau. All new HSE staff are Garda Vetted prior to employment, and the Department of Justice and Equality has indicated the intention is to set a date of 31st December 2017 as the date by which retrospective vetting for existing employees must be completed.
Lifeline requires all of its staff to be Garda vetted prior to employment, with operational (ambulance) staff resubmitted for vetting every three (3) years. This re-submission for Garda Vetting is a requirement we have set of ourselves, in the absence of any regulatory requirement, and we believe that the frequency of checks should be every three years, as a maximum, and should be guided by the type of activity in which health care personnel engage e.g. those routinely working with children or vulnerable adults should be vetted on (say) a 6-monthly basis.
While we do not believe that this should be an agenda that a private ambulance operator has to drive, we have engaged in correspondence with the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) on the matter, but to no avail at present. We have also engaged with the media in relation to this matter, but it has not stimulated the hoped for response.
Please Contact Us if you would like to lend your voice and support to our campaign on this vital matter.