Calls For Radical Measure As Response To Nursing Homes Deaths

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TD urges Dáil Covid committee report to make radical demands in recommendations

The catastrophic failure to protect elderly people in nursing homes during the Covid crisis will be the subject of a special Dáil committee report this week. One member of the committee, Bríd Smith TD, has made a number of recommendations to the final report which will be discussed today in a private session of the committee.

She will say: “We have to start by acknowledging that our elderly care system is not simply fragmented or lacking in oversight. It is overwhelmingly privatised and that is the product of policy decisions by past governments.

“Due to the privatised nature of the sector it has an emphasis on profit making and costs. It has proved utterly inadequate to the task of safeguarding our elderly.”

The TD said she will urge the committee to adopt several recommendations including moves to bring all private homes into the public system, with universal regulations on staffing levels, qualifications and pay.

“Most importantly the committee should insist on a full inquiry into all deaths in all homes that looks not just at how and where the virus spread but more over on how decisions were made not to move ill residents to acute hospitals and if the medical treatment available in these homes was adequate to the needs of the residents,” she added.