Thousands of Nursing Home Staff Call for Pandemic Payment to be ExpeditedTuesday October 11, 2022
11th October 2022: Over 2,000 letters from private and voluntary nursing home staff across the country are being delivered to the Department of Health calling for the Covid19 Pandemic Payment to be expedited. Nine months after it was announced by Government, 40,000 staff from nursing homes that were on the Covid19 frontline are still to receive the payment.
Staff from a range of disciplines within nursing homes will assemble at the Department of Health today at 12 noon for handover of the letters. They include nurses, carers, activity coordinators, catering and ancillary staff. Sister Mary Ward, a 94-year-old resident of Maryfield Nursing Home in Chapelizod, Dublin, is also attending to lend her support.
Tadhg Daly, Nursing Homes Ireland CEO said: “We received a phenomenal response when we asked staff to articulate their frustration having waited over half a year for a payment promised in recognition of their heroic efforts during the panemic. We asked for 1,000 letters to coincide with the payment being €1,000 but over 2,000 put pen to paper.
“Staff spoke of the extreme pressures they and colleagues were placed under, the traumatic loss of residents, the very serious emotional toll they experienced, exhaustion as they worked around-the-clock to protect residents, and the impact of Covid19 continuing to live with them day-to-day. The sacrifices undertaken by staff in nursing homes were phenomenal and immense. Yet the promised recognition has been considerably soured when we are nine months down the road and the promised payment is still to be paid to staff from private and voluntary nursing homes. Staff working in State healthcare settings have received it yet it is shocking and damning that after nine months, the State has not found a means to roll it out to private and voluntary nursing home staff and others. The letters articulate immense frustration, anger and upset being experienced by staff in private and voluntary nursing homes because of the extreme delay in rolling this payment out. A general feeling coming from the letters is staff feel disrespected by the State.
“It is appalling that the Department of Health dwelled on this matter for over half a year before deciding a tender process would be required. We hope the feelings articulated by staff will provide impetus for the payment process to be expedited and they will receive due recognition.”
Pictures are available from Maxwell Photography.
Tadhg Daly is available for further interview. Contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Executive, at 087 9082970.
RTE Online & News at One: Healthcare workers protest over delay in Covid-19 Special Recognition Payment
Newstalk, Lunchtime Live: Presenter Andrea Gilligan spoke with nursing home staff Julie Mc Neela from Aras Mhuire, Jim O’Brien from Darraglynn, and Eileen Doyle from Knockeen. Listen to the feature here.
Irish Independent: Frustration
Independent.ie: ‘They put their lives on the line for us’ – nursing home workers still waiting for €1,000 pandemic bonus
Irish Times: Nursing home staff protest
Irishtimes.com: ‘Honour the promise’: Nursing home staff demand their pandemic payments
Irish Examiner: Nursing home staff awaiting Covid payment hand in letters of protest
Examiner.ie: ‘I worked every day of Covid’: Nursing home staff write 2,000 letters of protest over delay in pandemic bonus
Irish Daily Mail: ‘It’s shameful’. We were there during Covid19 and deserve a little more respect
Irish Daily Mail: ‘I couldn’t hug my daughter for weeks’