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Tag Archives: nursing homes

McNamara criticises uses of perspex for visitors in nursing homes

Independent Deputy Michael McNamara plans to raise the use of perspex to screen visitors from patients in residential care facilities with Health Minister Simon Harris. While Deputy McNamara accepts that precautions have to be taken to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 between patients and staff, he is concerned about the use of perspex in nursing home during visiting times. “You visit people in a prison through perspex. I am very concerned about this. People in nursing homes are not in some kind of prison or some type of a biblical leper colony. “The idea of seeing you loved ones through a perspex screen is not acceptable. I have no problem in accepting that Covid-19 poses a huge risk of nursing homes and precautions need to be taken. “As someone who spent a considerable length of time visiting someone very close to me in a nursing home up to quite recently this shocks and appals me,” he said. Gerry O’Malley …

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‘Out of the difficulties and sadness of this pandemic, it has brought us closer together as a community.’

IN recent weeks, debate has been raging over the Covid-19 death toll in residential facilities across Ireland. Despite the differing political opinions, there is little doubt that those living and working in nursing homes were at the forgotten front line for a number of crucial weeks as the pandemic took hold. Keeping coronavirus out involves a heroic struggle against an ever-present enemy. St Theresa’s Nursing Home in Kilrush, is one of the facilities that has managed to avoid an outbreak, while as many a quarter of homes in Clare have been affected to-date, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE). “My heart goes out to those who have had outbreaks,” said Yvonne Moroney, Director of Nursing at the family run facility on the Kilkee Road. “They have done everything in their power, but there is a constant risk and we are all living with that risk.” Yvonne, who is on call 24/7 at St Theresa’s, has seen an already demanding …

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ICA sews scrubs for nursing home staff

Members of Clare ICA and their friends joined forces and a nationwide appeal to sew scrubs for people working in healthcare settings during the Covid-19 pandemic. And the fruits of the endeavours was acknowledge last Monday when Clare ICA members and volunteer sewers Jenni Bostok, Ailish Malone and Mary Neylon handed over sets of scrubs to staff at St Senan’s Nursing Home. Clare ICA member Mary Neylon outlined their involvement in the campaign. “When the Coronavirus crisis highlighted a shortage of PPE in healthcare settings in Ireland, many people were moved to try to combat the difficulty. One of these was Sineád Lawlor. She decided to enlist volunteers to sew up the uniforms (scrubs) needed. “She set up an online Scrubs for Ireland Go-Fund-Me page to collect donations, so that she could buy material and then asked ICA to contact sewing personnel nationwide,” Mary explained. The usual fabric providers, Mary added, were swamped by requests from China, Italy, Spain and …

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Call for funding equality for public and private nursing homes

THE director of a West Clare nursing home has called for greater equality in funding, so that both private and public operators can meet the highest standards of care. Yvonne Moroney, Director of Nursing at St Theresa’s in Kilrush, called for an end to the current “two tiered service.” She said that the focus on nursing homes, in light of Covid-19 crisis, was an opportunity to plan for improved care of the elderly. In April, The Champion reported on the gap in State support for the private and public nursing home sectors, and published figures showing HSE-run services receiving the lion’s share. “I would like to see changes to the Fair Deal (Nursing Home Subvention) Scheme,” Ms Moroney said, “so that the private sector is paid equal to the public health system, as currently we are a two tiered service as regards financial capital and inspections. Everyone thinks the private nursing homes are getting paid more than the public nursing …

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Covid outbreaks in a quarter of Clare nursing homes

OUTBREAKS of Covid-19 have been confirmed in a quarter of nursing homes in Clare, The Champion has learned. News of clusters in four out of the county’s 16 homes has prompted renewed calls for greater medical supervision of these facilities. There were a total of 13 nursing home clusters in the Midwest area covering Limerick, Clare and North Tippeary, according to figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) up to May 24. Data released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) now indicate that Clare accounts for just under one-third of these. Reacting to the figures, Deputy Michael McNamara, who is Chair of the Covid-19 Dáil Committee, has called on the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to provide it with details of the homes it identified, at the outset of the pandemic, as being at particular risk. At Tuesday’s committee hearing, Mary Dunnion of HIQA said a list had been sent to the HSE in February or March. “These, …

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Dr Harty believes nursing home visiting restrictions must remain for now

CLARE GP and former Dáil deputy, Dr Michael Harty has said the while the ongoing ban on visitors to nursing homes was “a dilemma”, the time was not yet right to lift restrictions. The Kilmihil-based GP said that, despite a call from the nursing homes regulator to look at allowing visits, the overriding concern had to be keeping Covid-19 out. Earlier this week, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) called on health officials to examine ways of easing restrictions, over concern for the welfare of residents. “For elderly people, isolation from family and visitors is very restrictive,” Dr Harty said. “But, we must balance the dilemma that poses with keeping the virus out. Given the devastating impact that Coronavirus can have, the balance probably comes down in favour of the restrictions.” Noting that some nursing homes were facilitating families to see residents at their bedroom windows, or by video call, Dr Harty said that these were the preferred option …

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more state support sought for nursing homes

Concern about the availability of personal protective equipment for nursing homes in Clare has been expressed by Dr Michael Harty. Dr Harty said some nursing homes felt abandoned as they had instituted strict visitor restrictions on March 6 even before the lockdown. He understands most of the nursing homes in Clare are free from Covid-19 following the provision of very effective protection measures to ensure residents are safe. “One nursing home told me they spend €10,000 purchasing their own PPE because they weren’t able to get a sufficient supply from the HSE. He recalled there was an expectation there would be a huge surge in the number of people requiring hospital treatment with a substantial number requiring admission to intensive care who may need ventilation. “The emphasis was placed on that aspect of care from the beginning. The social distancing and lockdown measures that have been introduced has made a huge difference to the numbers of people requiring hospitalisation and …

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group appeals for more Personal Protective Equipment

A local lobby group has issued a public appeal for donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for nursing homes. Mid-West Hospital Campaign spokesperson Hilary Tonge said nursing homes in the county are struggling to obtain sufficient supplies of PPE. Members of the campaign came together to see the could assist in accessing equipment. “We spoke to groups in other areas who are helping us to source materials and designs to start making PPE,” she said. The group plans to compile a comprehensive list and approach companies and organisations who may be able to supply equipment and use their skills to make products. Campaign member, Marie McMahon from Ennistymon said it has become apparent that hand sanitiser and disposable gowns are in very short supply. Flor McCarthy of Athlunkard Nursing Home confirmed that testing of staff and patients has taken place in the Westbury care facility on Monday. Director of nursing in Ennis Road Care Facility Meelick, Arthur Stritch said he …

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