Wednesday, 27 May 2020
Department of Health
640. To ask the Minister for Health when nursing homes can allow visitors once they have outdoor space while visitors would observe physical distancing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8279/20]
I am aware of how difficult the current restrictions on visiting are for both nursing home residents and their families, however, the current expert guidance should be adhered to. The primary responsibility of managing the risk of infection with Covid-19 and for control of outbreaks lies with the residential care facility, within their responsibilities for resident care and infection control. This responsibility is referred to in the 2016 National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland.
Appropriate evidence-based guidance to support the work of health and social care providers on a range of issues, including infection prevention and control, has been developed by the HSE and the HPSC and is updated regularly, as appropriate, and made available on their websites. On 5th May, the HPSC published Interim Public Health and Infection Prevention Control Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of Covid-19 Cases and Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities and Similar Units. These are available on the HPSC website.
This guidance provides the most up to date advice and information on the public health management and infection prevention and control measures, to inform and advise local planning and management in community residential facilities.
The Taoiseach recently announced a Roadmap for the future easing of restrictions on a phased basis. Phase 3, from 29 June, will see the commencement of a phased approach to visiting at hospitals, residential healthcare centre and other residential settings bearing in mind the particular features of types of settings and each individual centre, also considering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) availability and other protections.
All nursing homes, public and private continue to be regulated by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and have a duty to ensure continued adherence to the existing regulatory and standards framework in the discharge of their duties.
641. To ask the Minister for Health the breakdown of Covid-19 deaths by age, profession, socio-economic class, gender and details of underlying illnesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8280/20]