Nursing Homes Ireland has criticised the Government for 'abandoning residents and staff' with the cessation of the Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme (TAPS).
In an open letter to all TDs and Senators, NHI said it is "unfathomable" that the supports will cease from July 1st despite the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) warning of a surge in the Delta variant of Covid-19.
“It is of extreme disappointment and incredulity that we must bring to your attention the Government is again abandoning residents and staff in nursing homes. We find it unfathomable that at the same time as Nphet is warning 700,000 cases and 2,000 deaths could manifest in the coming months, the Government is abandoning support for intensified infection control measures within nursing homes.”
The nursing home representative body said the Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme (TAPS) “fulfilled an integral role in contributing to the additional costs and supporting implementation of intensified infection prevention control measures within private and voluntary nursing homes that are not encompassed within Fair Deal fees. Cessation of such is contrary to public health, Covid-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel and HIQA advices that we must sustain implementation of such”.
The letter adds: “Nphet has given a stark wake-up call that Covid-19 has not gone away with the approaching Delta variance heightening public health concerns. Yet the first supports to be withdrawn are those affecting the group in society who were most impacted by this pandemic: nursing home residents and staff.”
NHI claim the ending of the support scheme “contradicts health expert recommendations for continued protection of nursing home residents and staff during this continued precarious time and defies logic”.
In conclusion, they write: “We ask this issue is taken up, with view to reinstatement of the scheme to cover months ahead. TAPS needs to be continued to ensure sustainability and continuity of service provision.”