THE government gathered video evidence which they claim showed some hospital consultants were working privately when they were supposed to be working in public hospitals.
Newly released documents reveal they built up a dossier over more than a year using private surveillance and tracking of consultants while in work.
An internal memo – obtained under FOI – details for the first time the techniques that had been used to try and catch out the consultants.
Among the methods used were “the advertising of private hospitals” and fake phone calls to set up appointments with consultants who were not supposed to be working “off-site”.
Private detectives had also been following some consultants taking video and photographic evidence of their work outside public hospitals.
The memo explained how “video and other evidence” had been collected that showed some consultants “engaging in off-site activities when it is understood they should not have been and should instead have been fulfilling public duties/functions”.
The HSE however, got cold feet about the approach and said they believed it was “inappropriate” to continue with the surveillance.
Details of the surveillance operation come from a Department of Health memorandum, which said the government had been “surprised” to find the HSE no longer supported the techniques being used to investigate consultants.
It explained how the government had in February 2017 agreed a strategy to “vigorously defend” a pay claim being made by hospital consultants.
Read the documents below