Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response

Examination of HIQA Report on the Impact of Covid-19 on Nursing Homes in Ireland

Ms Susan Cliffe:

It is if we cannot see that a particular centre has the capacity to make the improvements that are required. We would never make a decision like this at the drop of a hat. We are taking people's homes from them, so it is really the nuclear option. There were many centres that had outbreaks of Covid-19, but we could not have a situation where we were closing every centre that had an outbreak of Covid. It would not make sense. In that particular centre we had a sense that the changes were just not taking place and the capacity within the centre to make the changes did not exist. There was not the leadership, governance or understanding of what was required and it was for that reason that we were so concerned about the care and welfare of the residents living in the centre. The test in terms of the Health Act is serious risk to life and limb before we can close a nursing home. The information put forward in our affidavit in the court on that day passed that test of presenting a serious risk to the life and limb of residents.