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Nursing Homes Ireland to appear before Covid-19 committee

Nursing Homes Ireland will tell the Covid-19 committee today the sector was "exasperated" the government's focus in battle against the virus was "almost exclusively" on hospitals.

Tadhg Daly will appear before the special committee to address what went wrong in nursing homes.

The devastation caused by Covid-19 on the nursing home sector is one of the most poignant of all the tragedies associated with the pandemic.

Almost half of all the deaths in Ireland from the disease occurred in these settings and there have been 264 care home clusters.

In their opening statement, the NHI will say one of the key challenges they faced was the failure to test patients being discharged from hospitals to nursing home for the disease.

Mr Daly said this happened because the health sector was preparing for an expected surge that never materialised.

Mr Daly will also criticise the National Treatment Purchase fund, which is responsible for commissioning nursing home care, for "falling silent" as the homes incurred huge costs

For its part, the Health Information Quality Authority will note that 80% of nursing homes are privately run and it says that because of this the HSE did not have a relationship with them.