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Tag Archives: nursing homes

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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Fears voiced over Covid-19 risk at Clare Direct Provision centres

CONCERNS continue about the difficulty of social distancing and self-isolation for residents of Direct Provision centres who believe that their living conditions are putting them, and those they work with in the wider community, in danger. While the Department of Justice has unveiled a number of measures aimed at addressing the issue, a Clare-based spokesperson for the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) continues to seek assurances that further support will be provided. The fact that a number of those living in Direct Provision centres work in the healthcare sector, combined with the heightened risk to those in the profession, mean more action is needed, according to Bulelani Mfaco of MASI. “You would generally expect that those who work with vulnerable elderly people in healthcare settings like nursing homes to be living in secluded areas, in their own isolation zones, but that is not happening in many Direct Provision centres,” he said. “Instead, in some situations, you have up …

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HIQA seeks feedback on Clare nursing homes standards

A nationwide public consultation has begun to gather feedback on new national standards for nursing homes, published by HIQA. There are approximately 1,800 people using residential care services throughout Clare. HIQA is seeking feedback on the new draft standards from those who live in nursing homes, their families and friends and also those who run or work in the nursing homes. “These new draft standards place the resident at the centre of the process so it is important to us that as many people as possible tell us what their priorities are and how they feel the standards should be written,” said a HIQA spokesperson. The standards which describe the quality of care services will apply to all nursing homes and other care settings such as geriatric hospital wards, run by the HSE, private organisations or voluntary bodies. Registered nursing homes are then inspected by HIQA on a regular basis. The final date for receipt of submissions is September 24. To take part in the consultation you can go to www.hiqa.ie. …

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