€1.6m security bill for violent patients at UHG

Galway City Tribune – University Hospital Galway spent almost €1.6 million providing one-on-one security for more than 5,000 violent or aggressive patients last year.

The money was paid to a private security company for the provision of “close supervision services” in respect of dangerous patients who could not be managed by nursing staff.

Security personnel assigned to close supervision services have no other duties other than to maintain control over a patient who is deemed to present a risk to themselves or others, according to hospital documents.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is currently seeking tenders for a contract to provide security services at UHG, Merlin Park University Hospital, and Roscommon University Hospital. The estimated value of the 12-month contract is €4 million.

A draft ‘service level agreement’ contains a section on close supervision services, and reveals that a total of 125,512 hours of one-on-one security was provided at UHG during 2018 at a cost of €12.59 per hour, amounting to €1.58 million.
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