Investigation into Covid-19 nursing home deaths recommended

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

An overhaul of the nursing home sector has been recommended in a draft report by the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee.

Deaths in residential care facilities represent over 60 per cent of all Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

Changes to the sector include the integration of private nursing homes into the wider framework of public health and social care, and strengthening the role of HIQA in their regulation.

It is also recommended that an independent review be commissioned into the circumstances of all deaths in nursing homes during the pandemic.

Nursing Homes Ireland has welcomed the proposal, with CEO Tadgh Daly saying action needs to be taken: "Clearly mistakes have been made at a very high level within the Department of Health and the HSE in terms of preparedness for the nursing home sector."

“So any review needs to look at all of the stakeholders, and ensure that the review is thorough, and pays due tribute to those who have unfortunately lost their lives in nursing homes.”

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The recommendations come after yesterday’s publication of a report from HIQA which found more than half of nursing homes have had at least once confirmed case of the virus.

The report also found 29 staff members at one nursing home in Ireland tested positive for Covid-19.

The Irish Hospice Foundation has proposed a national series of events for all who have died since the pandemic began, including a national day of mourning and remembrance.

It wants the new government to lead a national conversation on death and bereavement and have the country face the topic “head on.”

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