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Decision by Beacon Hospital to offer vaccines to teachers was 'incorrect but made in good faith'

The Beacon Hospital in Dublin has apologised after a review found it was wrong to offer 20 teache...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.17 19 Jul 2021


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Decision by Beacon Hospital to...

Decision by Beacon Hospital to offer vaccines to teachers was 'incorrect but made in good faith'

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.17 19 Jul 2021


Share this article


The Beacon Hospital in Dublin has apologised after a review found it was wrong to offer 20 teachers in a private school COVID-19 vaccines, without HSE approval.

However, it says it still has 'full confidence' in its chief executive - and that the decision to offer the vaccines was "made in good faith".

On March 23rd, the Beacon Hospital vaccinated 20 teachers from St Gerard’s private school in Bray, after 20 'leftover' AstraZeneca vaccines were at risk of going to waste.

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The incident - which came while the vaccine programme was still focused on priority groups - was sharply criticised by many senior public officials, with HSE boss Paul Reid saying he was "extremely annoyed and frustrated" by the hospital's decision.

It also led to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly asking for the vaccine programme at the hospital to be suspended.

Following the incident, the hospital board launched an independent review.

It has found the decision wasn't in line with the National Vaccine Priority List and did not have HSE approval.

The review also found there was an incorrect interpretation of the discretion available to the Beacon to make decisions on what to do with vaccine doses going to waste.

The board says the decision to contact the school was incorrect but was made in good faith.

It apologises for the events, and expresses regret at the upset caused.

However, it says it has 'full confidence' in its chief executive, Michael Cullen.

The review found the decision to contact the Bray school was taken by Mr Cullen alone.

It says he made the decision in "a time-pressured situation in the mistaken belief that the risk of doses being wasted entitled Beacon to administer the doses to anyone who was available, other than patients".

In a statement, the hospital said: "Board accepts the view of the Independent Reviewer that while the basis on which the decision was made to contact the school was incorrect, it was made in good faith.

"We as a Board, regret that this series of events happened, and apologise for the upset caused. However, having considered the detailed Review and the Findings of the Independent Reviewer, the Board has determined that it retains full confidence in Michael Cullen, our CEO.

"Michael has provided the hospital with strong leadership and vision resulting in substantial growth and expansion of patient services. We are confident that Beacon Hospital will continue to provide exceptional patient care into the future under his guidance."

Main image: File photo of Beacon Hospital. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

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