Róisín Shortall TD, Social Democrats spokesperson on Health, has called on the Government to immediately act on the recommendations contained in the Interim Report on Covid-19 in Nursing Homes, which was published today.

Deputy Shortall said:

“This report highlights the glaring gaps in the system which led to so many deaths of people in our nursing homes and has been one of the State’s main failings in responding to the Covid-19 crisis.

“It is vital that the mistakes of the past are rectified, not only in the event of a second wave of the virus, but to ensure that the highest standard of care, underpinned by statutory clinical oversight, is provided in public and private nursing home facilities.

“The shocking impact of Covid-19 on nursing home residents shows that we need to rapidly rethink how we approach the care of vulnerable, older people. The scale of the crisis has proven that privatisation is not working for this sector. We need to see care, clinical governance and the wellbeing of older people at the very heart of these services and this will require considerable investment.

“Our focus should be on high quality, publicly provided services for older people, including a radical shift in home care to enable people be independent for as long as possible.

“The report has recommended that the Department of Health plan for the care of older people as part of the of the Sláintecare strategy, which needs to be implemented urgently. It also calls for the integration of private nursing homes into the wider framework of public health and social care. These measures are key to avoiding avoidable tragedies in our nursing homes in the future.”


31st July 2020

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