Belfast hospital guard sacked after sleeping on the job
A SECURITY guard at the Royal Victoria Hospital has been dismissed following a lengthy probe into claims that staff were caught sleeping on the job.
The investigation, which has taken 18 months to report its findings, was launched last year after a number of security staff were reportedly observed bedding down for the night when they should have been on duty.
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust confirmed the inquiry had concluded but refused to comment on individual cases.
But a health trust source told Sunday Life the investigation centred on claims that some night shift security workers were making beds out of waiting area seats and even sleeping in unused patient beds.
They were apparently caught on CCTV cameras making their way into rooms for hours on end during their shift, between the hours of approximately 9pm and 7am.
Our source explained the main areas of concern were those not in use overnight but which had already been cleaned for the next day's patients.
It is understood staff in other areas of the hospital had also complained after calling for security at night but receiving no response.
"We expected more than one person to get the sack following the case, to be honest," said the source.
"The guy who was sacked was given the boot because he had been caught doing the same thing at the City Hospital before being moved to the Royal.
"He's being used as a warning to everybody else - do this again and you'll be dismissed."
While the source said patients could have been put at risk of infection, there have been no reports of anyone being adversely affected.
The areas understood to have been used by the napping night watchmen are the hospital's special investigations department, the outpatients centre and the day patients' and diabetic units.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the trust said: "The trust has concluded its internal investigation into this matter and a series of follow-up recommendations have been acted upon in accordance with the relevant trust policies and procedures.
"Unfortunately, due to the ongoing nature of our actions, we are unable to comment further at this stage as to do so may cause a breach in the rights of the individual employees concerned."