Bríd Smith, People Before Profit TD and a member of a Dáil Committee on the Covid crisis has said that the unfolding disaster in a Galway nursing home highlights the continued failure to act on the regulation of the sector.
Reacting to news that a Galway nursing home has recorded 26 Covid positive cases the TD said: “This latest crisis is a reminder that most of the recommendations on nursing homes in the Dáil special committee remain urgent and absolutely essential.”
The TD said staffing levels and difficulties with accessing needed staff seem to be at the centre of the current outbreaks.
“I have asked specifically if the practice of using agency staff is still happening. The Dáil Committee made it clear this wasn’t best practice and should end and that any differences between skill sets and qualifications between public and private homes should also end.”
The TD called for the HSE to act urgently and ensure all homes have access to emergency public health teams.
“Moreover, the recommendations of the Dáil committee are now more urgent than ever to act on as they deal with issues of staffing, sick pay schemes and skill sets needed. In the longer term we also need a full review of the resilience of a sector that is now 80% privatised. The need for a publicly run and accountable sector for our elderly care is more urgent than ever.”