An open letter to all TDs and Senators – Cessation of IPC funding supports for nursing homesWednesday June 30, 2021
Dear Oireachtas Member,
At the beginning of this pandemic, Nursing Homes Ireland had to call out the inadequacy of Government planning to support nursing homes to protect residents and staff from Covid19. We took early action to advise visits to nursing homes be suspended when the public health focus was on protecting other health services and other sectors of society and highlighted the failure to plan and support nursing homes for a virus that was having a devastating impact in care homes abroad.
It is of extreme disappointment and incredulity that we must bring to your attention the Government is again abandoning residents and staff in nursing homes. We find it unfathomable that at the same time as NPHET is warning 700,000 cases and 2,000 deaths could manifest in the coming months, the Government is abandoning support for intensified infection control measures within nursing homes. As of tomorrow, 1st July, the Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme (TAPS) will cease to support increased deployment of staff and enhanced utilisation of specialised equipment required to intensify infection prevention control measures within nursing homes. The scheme has fulfilled an integral role in contributing to the additional costs and supporting implementation of intensified infection prevention control measures within private and voluntary nursing homes that are not encompassed within Fair Deal fees. Cessation of such is contrary to public health, Covid19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel and HIQA advices that we must sustain implementation of such.
It contradicts measure taken by UK Government this week to extend its alike support scheme for care homes to the end of September, cognisant of the continued necessity for intensified measures to continue to protect residents and staff from the virus. NPHET has given a stark wake-up call that Covid19 has not gone away with the approaching Delta variance heightening public health concerns. Yet the first supports to be withdrawn are those affecting the group in society who were most impacted by this pandemic: nursing home residents and staff.
The action being taken by Government contradicts health expert recommendations for continued protection of nursing home residents and staff during this continued precarious time and defies logic. We ask this issue is taken up, with view to reinstatement of the scheme to cover months ahead. TAPS needs to be continued to ensure sustainability and continuity of service provision.
Chief Executive Officer