HSE audit reveals four risks over income collection at St Patrick’s Hospital

An audit of cash-management at St Patrick’s Hospital in Carrick-on-Shannon has found that it received more than €500,000 in lodgements during a one-year period.

The HSE internal audit, released to Shannonside FM, identified four risks in relation to income-collection procedures at the state-run nursing home.

Last year, the HSE conducted an audit of cash-management at St Patrick’s Hospital to ensure all monies are collected, receipted, safeguarded and banked properly.

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It was noted that, in 2015, €546,000 was received at the facility.

This income was received in respect of long-stay charges, in relation to the Fair Deal scheme, along with inpatient, canteen and transport charges.

The audit found that there were adequate systems in place to deal with these lodgements, such as restricted access to the area where cash is counted and stored.

It’s also noted that only a limited number of personnel have keys to the cash office and safe.

However, four issues were identified, including the cash-office staff cashing cheques to clients on two occasions, which the auditor classed as a risk-rating of ‘medium’.

The auditor claims general account monies should not be used for cashing Patient Private Property Account cheques.

In response, management claims this is an infrequent occurrence and on the occasions it’s used, there remains a full audit trail.

The auditor also raised concerns about a place, which is redacted from the report, were cash is stored, which the management agreed to address.