Frankenwaldklinik: works council criticizes data transfer during corona inspection

A clinic employee is in maternity protection. Last week, she received a call from the health department. She is a contact person of the first category and is to go into domestic quarantine. But there it is already. For weeks – and cares for her baby. She has not met any colleagues, nor participated in a corona test.

The incident is reported by manfred burdich, who is not at ease with the developments surrounding the quarantine. The chairman of the works council wonders: how do the authorities get hold of the data of employees who have not worked for weeks?? Did the hospital management pass on the data?? If so, he says, someone is obviously violating data protection laws. He has therefore asked the district administration and the hospital management for clarification.

Employee list transmitted

In response to a question from the FT, clinic spokesman stefan studtrucker says: "the health department has requested a list of all clinic employees from the clinic management in order to be able to guarantee the series test and the subsequent individual contact in the event of a positive result in order to prevent an infection. This list has been forwarded to the health department in accordance with the order issued."

Manfred burdich and works council member heribert pietz describe the events of the past week from their point of view. On wednesday, the works council called an extraordinary meeting. One day before the company centogene carries out a third PCR series test on the hospital premises on behalf of the health department. There are similar words as in the letter. Whether the health department is now "as a driven" acting on behalf of district government, burdich says, makes no gross difference. The works council and many employees consider the mabnahme to be excessive. Even though only positively tested employees and patients as well as proven category 1 contacts have been in quarantine since last sunday, there has been mistrust between hospital staff, management and authorities ever since.

The chairman of the works council and, according to him, many of his colleagues have decided not to take part in the third series of tests. "Participation is voluntary and a personal decision." He demands that questions about data protection be clarified. He and his colleagues use the antigen test every morning to make sure they are not infected.

But that's not the only aspect that shows a lack of trust. A letter from the works council has caused an uproar this week. As a "language guide for employees of the helios-frankenwaldklinik kronach" the works council has compiled ten points on how employees should behave in the event of a call from the health department. From first to ninth, a detailed query of the health department employee's data is proposed, up to and including the presentation of a legal basis. Finally, the point of contention 10: "at the end of the conversation: record the telephone conversation, ideally with a cell phone, as an aid to drawing up the minutes."

Charges against works council?

The district administration sees this as a violation of the right of the health department employees: "we have handed over the matter of the works council's call for a recording of the conversation to the police for further investigation, explains press spokesman alexander loffler. The works council has a different opinion: recording is only relevant in emergencies and only if the caller consents to it.

"They want to silence the works council, but we know how to fight back", says manfred burdich. However, the hospital management has also reacted and advised its employees in an e-mail not to record conversations, reports press spokesman stefan studtrucker.

But where do the infections in the clinic come from, the diffuse spread of the virus', according to the health office? Burdich addresses misconduct of hospital management. "We don't have the staff to meet all the requirements." He talks about employees wearing FFP-2 masks for eight hours and not being able to comply with hygiene requirements. The clinic had previously had to shut down to minimal operations. "We have learned from the first wave – but do not implement it." A weekly pandemic conference, which was still held during the first lockdown, is no longer being held at the moment. Clinic management remains invisible, says burdich.

Third series test required

According to the health authorities, the need for a third series of tests is questionable: "individual contact tracing is currently possible again, but the outbreak cannot yet be declared over", answers press spokesman loffler. Based on the results, the authority will evaluate whether further measures should be taken, such as the admission stop over the 7. December to require.

If the infection situation permits, the hospital spokesman explains, the hospital intends to resume normal operations as of tuesday. Currently, 16 employees and 20 trainees have tested positive, five more as contact persons I in domestic quarantine. In addition, 22 patients are being treated for covid-19, including four in the intensive care unit.

Read: "nation's fools: hospital employees criticize health department"