NHI: Nursing homes 'under immense staffing strain' due to Covid-19

NHI: Nursing homes 'under immense staffing strain' due to Covid-19
40% of nursing homes said they do not have sufficient supply of Facemasks.

Staffing issues persist among private and voluntary nursing homes according to a new Nursing Home Ireland (NHI) survey.

Testing results are not returned to nursing homes for a number of days while sufficient access to personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be a problem.

Recently introduced Health Service Exective (HSE) policies say facemasks should be worn when in close contact with a nursing home resident.

The main results according to the survey include:

  • 40% of nursing homes said they do not have sufficient supply of Facemasks.
  • 45% of the nursing homes responding to the survey said they waited five days or more for testing results to be returned. 25% were awaiting the results of tests undertaken.
  • Small numbers of HSE staff deployed to care homes. Respondents said 40 nurses from the HSE were redeployed along with 26 healthcare assistants and 13 other staff.
  • Persistent staff unavailability. Respondents said 306 senior and general nursing staff were not available due to Covid-19. 606 Healthcare Assistants were unavailable along 240 workers from other disciplines, totalling 1,152 staff.

233 private and voluntary nursing homes participated in the survey of 460 operating across Ireland according to NHI.

Speaking about the results, Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO said: “Nursing homes remain under immense pressure in managing Covid-19. Pressures continue to be applied across staffing, PPE and testing."

Mr Daly acknowledged the support recently introduced from the Government "late in the day" and said, "this has made an impact."

However, he said "seismic challenges persist" and the sector continues to work with the HSE and the Department of Health along with the Minister for Health to address them.

NHI said nearly half of private and voluntary nursing homes in Ireland completed the survey.

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