We are now facing a fourth wave of Covid-19 and lessons must be learned from the previous three
There must be a full public inquiry into what happened in our nursing homes during the pandemic, according to Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall.
Deputy Shortall was responding to an RTE Investigates programme on care in nursing homes during the covid crisis.
“The RTE Investigates programme showed a clear need for a full public inquiry into what happened in our nursing homes during the pandemic; whether nursing homes put in place sufficient safeguards against subsequent waves; and what effect the measures had on residents’ safety and wellbeing.
“Further, it is absolutely essential that visitation rights are maintained and improved, as far as possible, to ensure residents in long-term care facilities have the support of family members. This is important, not just for care home residents, but for their families, many of whom found prolonged separation from their loved ones during the pandemic incredibly difficult.
“Long-over-due structural and regulatory changes also need to be made to the nursing home sector. The final report of the Nursing Homes Expert Panel was published nearly 12 months ago, in August 2020. Despite this, some of its recommendations have yet to be implemented.
“The Government must move to swiftly introduce these measures. Of particular importance are defining and implementing safe staffing ratios and extending HIQA’s powers in relation to oversight and intervention.
“We are now facing a fourth wave of Covid-19 and lessons must be learned from the previous three. Our older generation suffered tremendously throughout the pandemic and it is this Government’s responsibility to ensure they are protected to the greatest possible extent.”
2 July, 2021