Nursing Homes Ireland says staff shortages still a major issue

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Digital Desk Staff

Nursing Homes Ireland says staffing remains the biggest issue in the fight against Covid-19.

It says 40 of the country's 570 residential facilities currently have clusters of the virus.

A nursing home in Galway appealed for help earlier this week following a major outbreak.

25 of the 27 residents at the Nightingale Nursing Home were confirmed to have Covid-19 and one person has died.

CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland, Tadhg Daly, says the HSE needs to act swiftly when outbreaks occur:

"We need a rapid response from the HSE, because staffing is the single biggest issue now.

"We have PPE, the testing is happening and we are detecting more cases.

"But when you have large numbers of staff out the only way we are going to address that challenge is by prioritising those in nursing home care and moving staff from one location to another.

Nightingale Nursing Home

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Earlier in the week, the owner of Nightingale Nursing Home Patricia McGowan said the HSE told her "not to panic" regarding staff shortages and to "leave it with them."

"The HSE sent us a nurse and a carer last night, it took the pressure off.

"It's uncivilised, we just want our older people to stay safe and the bottom line is, to stay alive."

She added "I just cannot understand. Our residents- yes they are in a private nursing home, but they are citizens of this country and the State has an obligation to look after them.

"They (the HSE) are not giving us the help. They kept batting it back to us saying: ‘Go and find agency staff.’ But we cannot get any."

 

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