Committee finds 'systemic weaknesses' in nursing home sector's ability to tackle Covid-19

More than half of the deaths related to coronavirus happened in nursing homes.
Committee finds 'systemic weaknesses' in nursing home sector's ability to tackle Covid-19

CEO of the Nursing Homes Ireland, Tadhg Daly, believes ensuring staff are able to cope mentally in any future surge is the main priority. Photo: Gareth Chaney

Covid-19 patients would not be allowed move between nursing homes and hospital without proper controls in a potential second wave.

It is part of the recommendations of the Oireachtas committee which found that there are "systemic weaknesses" in the sector in tackling the disease.

More than half of the deaths related to coronavirus happened in nursing homes.

CEO of the Nursing Homes Ireland, Tadhg Daly, believes ensuring staff are able to cope mentally in any future surge is the main priority.

He said: "One of the challenges for us will be the resilience of staff if we were to move into a second wave. It's been particularly challenging for staff right across the health service and across the nursing home sector, so I would have some concerns about staff being able to deal with a second wave.

"But that said, all of the appropriate steps that can be taken are being taken and it's important that the public at large listen to the health advice in that regard as well."

Meanwhile, there are calls for a public inquiry into the Government's handling of the outbreaks in nursing homes.

People Before Profit TD Brid Smyth said there are a lot of questions to be answered.

She said: "The report is totally inadequate and that's why we did argue that we don't need to rush this, we need to be careful about it but we need to get the correct recommendations from it.

"For me, they are the need for a public inquiry into what happened, and secondly, the overwhelming privatised nature of the way we care for old people in this state."

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