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NHI Statement re measures to support nursing home residents in response to Covid-19

Saturday April 4, 2020

4th April 2020: Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states: “We appreciate and welcome the financial support scheme announced today by the Government.  Covid-19 has presented huge, never-seen-before challenges for nursing home and wider healthcare services.  Planning by Government for the hospital system and wider society has gone on for months.  It is welcome that the focus has shifted to nursing homes now, where our most vulnerable are living.  Our oldest people have provided great service to our country and our nursing homes are doing everything possible to appropriately support them during the biggest societal challenge we have faced. As previously stated by the Minister, we cannot leave anybody behind in this national health emergency.

“We acknowledge the recognition by the State of the challenges faced by the sector. We thank Minister for today’s interim measures in the evolving situation and acknowledge commitment by him to regular engagement with NHI and support for residents in nursing homes.

“An array of supports are required to enable nursing homes to meet residents’ healthcare needs.  Continued prioritisation for testing must be given to residents and staff in nursing homes and timely access to PPE must become the norm. We remain committed to working with the Minister and Government during this pandemic in providing the best possible care in difficult times for residents and staff.  Engagement must be ongoing between nursing homes and their staff and we welcome the Minister’s commitment today for ongoing engagement with the sector.

“Today’s measures are an important step to support nursing homes to manage the unique challenges presented by Covid-19.  The State’s Fair Deal scheme, which ultimately funds nursing home care, has never contemplated this set of circumstances.

“During this time of national emergency, we should praise and thank the people living amongst us in our local communities who are working in our nursing homes and providing care to our older people. These people are committed in meeting the health and social care needs of people who are most vulnerable to Covid-19. Over 500 nursing homes, private, voluntary and public, across the country are providing specialised care on a 24/7 basis to 30,000 people.  The care provided by the men and women within these homes is vital to the lives of our most vulnerable, providing them with comfort and reassurance during a worrying time that they’ve never experienced previously in their long lives.  Private, voluntary and public are together in an ideology of care.  Staff in our nursing homes fulfil an often unappreciated essential role in Irish society. Our nursing homes are very heavily regulated health and social care settings that now require the continuing and consistent support of the State in meeting challenges never previously encountered. It presents a time for solidarity with our nursing home residents and staff.”


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