Nursing Homes Ireland met yesterday with Minister for Health Simon Harris and his officials. In the one-hour-plus meeting, NHI outlined measures it believes necessary to address the Covid-19 emergency in all nursing homes, public, private and voluntary.
Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO said: “We welcome dialogue with the Minister, coming even as it does some way into the crisis. Over 450 private and voluntary nursing homes are providing care to 25,000 people across the country and are on the frontline in the response to Covid-19.
"We brought to the Minister challenges being presented to us by nursing homes across the country and he also heard from representatives working within nursing homes. We informed the Minister of the considerable challenges for hundreds of nursing homes in meeting the care needs of our most vulnerable during Covid-19.
"The challenges presented to the Minister centred around timely access to PPE equipment and testing within nursing homes, the necessity for the State to recognise the essential need for nursing homes to be supported around the critical area of staffing, and the need for enhanced staffing and logistical arrangements during this emergency to be recognised in Fair Deal.
"We thanked him for his engagement and the Minister committed himself and his Department to work constructively with our sector during this public health emergency. He committed to immediately addressing PPE and staffing issues and to bring forward a package of financial supports for nursing homes before the end of the week.
"No detail was given. It was appreciated by us that the Minister thanked nursing home staff for their dedication and professionalism and recognised the essential role nursing homes fulfil within our communities in meeting care needs.”