Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Health
481. To ask the Minister for Health the number of patients who were transferred from hospitals to nursing homes in north County Kildare as a result of Covid-19; the number who were tested for Covid-19 prior to transfer; the number who tested positive while resident in nursing homes; the number who died from the virus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10537/20]
The HSE through the Health Protective Surveillance Centre has developed an extensive body of guidance and support tools to assist in the management of COVID-19 cases, including in relation to nursing homes and homecare. This guidance is reviewed and updated regularly as necessary
The current relevant guidelines are the: “Interim Public Health and Infection Prevention Control Guidelines on the Prevention and Management of COVID-19 Cases and Outbreaks in Residential Care.
On 10 March 2020, the HSE issued Interim Guidance on Transfer between Care Facilities, which included preliminary guidance on the transfer of hospitalised patients from an acute hospital to a residential care facility in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance based on the best available information at the time set out the various procedures to be followed, including:
- Patients with COVID-19 should not be transferred to a LTRC until they had two consecutive tests indicating virus not detected.
- Patients who were symptomatic and were contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case should only transfer if the persons had a test indicating virus not detected and it was possible for that person to be isolated for the relevant incubation period;
- Patients who were asymptomatic and were contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case should only transfer if it was possible for that person to be isolated for the relevant incubation period;
- Transfers from hospitals with no evidence of spread of COVID-19 should proceed as normal, except patients with respiratory tract infection meeting the then criteria for COVID-19 testing – in those cases testing should be carried out and the result should be virus not-detected before transfer.
With regard to the query raised in respect of numbers of patients, this data is not readily available to my Department but I will follow up with the HSE to seek further information.