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Cabinet needs to focus on nursing homes as Ireland now out of step on support for infection control measures

Monday June 28, 2021

UK commits additional funding yet support to cease in Ireland this coming week

28th June 2021: Nursing Homes Ireland has said the Cabinet meeting on the Delta Variant and Covid19 needs to focus not just on hospitality but also on nursing homes.  Over the weekend the UK Government committed an additional £250 million to continue intensified infection prevention control measures to protect residents and staff in care homes from Covid19. On Thursday, the funding support for such measures in Irish nursing homes will end with the cessation of the Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme (TAPS).

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states: “It is unfathomable that the TAPS scheme for nursing homes is to end on June 30th when it is clear the pandemic is not over and the necessity to continue implementation of the intensified infection prevention measures remains. The UK has just moved to help protect people in adult social care by continuing to meet the cost of rigorous infection prevention and control measures. Announcing such, the UK Government said the funding support is required to continue to protect care home residents and staff from the cruel virus. Yet the Irish Government’s attitude is the measures that are in place to protect our residents and staff no longer need to be supported. Why are they stepping down their supports when the UK are continuing theirs? TAPS has fulfilled a vital role in protecting residents and staff and the recommendations from public health, the Covid19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel and the regulator HIQA are intensified infection control measures continue within nursing homes.  Like the UK, Ireland needs to keep the supports for nursing homes through the pandemic and then to put in place the long term measures recommended nearly a year ago by the Expert Group to support intensified care for older people.”

NHI CEO Tadhg Daly is available for further interview. Media interviews will be facilitated by Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Executive, who can be contacted at 087 9082970.

Note for Editor

Covid19 has delivered a very different landscape for nursing home care, moving it from a social care to a more medical-care based model. Intensified infection prevention control measures have become embedded in nursing home practice. For example, visiting a nursing home now is very different to what is was pre-pandemic, with intensified infection prevention control measures in place to facilitate such and staff are now dedicated to facilitate bookings and to accommodate the visits. Every cost recovered under TAPS is itemised and approved by the HSE. TAPS was introduced given the intensified IPC measures recommended by public health are not encompassed under Fair Deal fees.