Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Health

Departmental Correspondence

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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795. To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide all correspondence between his Department and the HSE relating to a nursing home (details supplied) from 1 March to 12 May 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6825/20]

Photo of Jim DalyJim Daly (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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The HSE advised the Department that the RCSI Hospital Group took over the operational management of the nursing home in question on the 17th April 2020 to assist during a period of challenge arising from COVID-19.  A range of supports have been provided by the HSE to support residents in the nursing home including:

- Consultant Geriatrician Support to support GP services including, reviewing and assessing residents

- Director of Nursing Support (Provide leadership in absence of Nursing home DON)

- Infection Prevention and Control Support (advice, education and training for staff)

- Occupational Health Support (review and support staff on sick leave)

- Clinical Nurse Manager (Assist with daily leadership in the home)

- Nursing staff  to ensure safe staffing levels are maintained including two CHO community nurses

- Healthcare Assistants (ensure safe staffing maintained)

- Receptionist  (Assist with communication with residents families)

- Contract Cleaners (Ensure hygiene standards maintained)

- Practice Development (Training in relation to PPE/Guidelines)

The HSE further advised that a wide range of measures were taken in order to control the spread of COVID-19 including that all residents are now nursed in single rooms; personal protective equipment is readily available; 

In addition, I understand comprehensive testing of all staff and residents has taken place.  Staff that were diagnosed positive had taken appropriate isolation precautions and they were been isolating at home, in line with national guidelines. The HSE advised that staff were beginning to return to their place of work post isolation.

The HSE has advised the Department that the situation has stabilised in the nursing home, the staff support in place had enabled safe staffing levels for residents and that there was currently no further spread of COVID-19. I further understand that nursing home management is in contact with families of residents. The RCSI Hospital Group will continue to monitor the situation closely, through daily contacts, which is happening across all of the designated nursing homes in its area.

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