‘Nursing homes need help’: Cork TD calls for contingency plans

‘Nursing homes need help’: Cork TD calls for contingency plans

Mr Gould called for measures to be introduced to prevent short-staffing at nursing homes in the event of Covid-19 cases.

A CORK TD has called for contingency plans to be put in place for nursing homes impacted by Covid-19 cases.

Sinn Féin’s Thomas Gould claimed that nursing homes in Cork have been left short-staffed in recent months following cases of Covid-19, which has forced staff members to self-isolate, and that nursing homes were also left fighting for personal protective equipment.

Mr Gould made the comments after The Echo revealed that some 20 concerns were raised with Hiqa highlighting issues of poor Covid-19 management at nursing homes.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Gould highlighted the need for assurances that the supply of PPE would be maintained, even in the face of increased cases of the virus.

“One of the major issues I’ve gotten calls about from staff and family members was the lack of PPE in nursing homes during the pandemic,” he said.

“Even now, there seems to still be concerns on the ground that there is a lack of assurances surrounding PPE supply going forward.

“There has to be assurances that supply will be maintained — it’s vital.

“We had situations previously where some nursing homes were left with nothing.

“I know of one case where a member of the public was trying to source PPE equipment for nursing homes who couldn’t get it back in the height of the pandemic in March and April.”

Mr Gould also called for measures to be introduced to prevent short-staffing at nursing homes in the event of Covid-19 cases.

“Family members have also raised concerns about the lack of staff nursing homes have, to deal with a potential Covid outbreak,” he said.

“If one person gets it, staff who come into contact with them have to self-isolate, and there is no cover for them. There needs to be cover put in place to ensure nursing homes continue operating to standard in such a situation.

“I know of a case in Cork where two people contracted Covid-19, resulting in staff having to self-isolate, leaving the nursing home with virtually no staff.

“There should be contingency plans in place for nursing homes, to ensure there is a continuous supply of PPE and staff to cover in cases where people contract or come into contact with Covid-19.

“That requires more support from the Government and the HSE.”

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