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Minister must provide explicit commitment HSE will not target nursing home staff

Thursday September 24, 2020

24th September 2020: Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO comments: “We are calling upon the Minister for Health and the HSE to provide explicit commitment staff in our nursing homes will not be targeted for recruitment as capacity within our acute hospitals is increased to prepare for the Winter period. We are already concerned in this regard, with some nursing homes reporting approaches being made to staff seeking to recruit them to work within our acute hospitals.

“We acknowledge the critical requirement to increase capacity within our acute services as we face into an unprecedented Winter period for our health services. However, this must not be at the expense of our wider social care services. It is absolutely imperative the State recognises nursing homes remain under immense pressure and are similarly facing into a Winter that will likely prove the most challenging ever encountered. Our health services cannot countenance staff on the nursing home frontline, fulfilling an absolutely vital role in providing care to the people most vulnerable to Covid19, being recruited to meet HSE staffing shortfalls. Any targeting of staff within our nursing homes will be unconscionable given we’ve seen the tragic impact Covid19 can have for people in our nursing homes. We cannot countenance a return to earlier in the year when the HSE aggressively targeted staff in nursing homes in an effort to ramp-up its staffing complement to prepare for the virus. This arose as nursing homes and their staff were in the midst of preparing for the imminent pandemic.

“It is absolutely vital for continuity of care for people in our nursing homes that staff familiar with their care needs are supported to continue to provide this vital care in the months ahead. The consequences of removal of staff from the nursing home sector, already on the Covid19 frontline, will be devastating for care providers and those they are providing care to.”

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