With almost half of all deaths associated with Coronavirus now taking place in nursing homes, the Minister for Health, has said that some nursing homes are still without proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
However, many viewers of RTE’s Primetime last night were shocked to hear that many nursing homes are still without the protective clothing needed for staff to ensure vulnerable, elderly patients are best protected.
On the programme, Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland said that the provision of PPE was “still quite patchy” and that there was also an issue with the provision of oxygen for care homes.
Meanwhile, Independent TD for Laois-Offaly, Carol Nolan, has called on the Health Minister, Simon Harris, to immediately investigate how many Nursing Homes are being sent inappropriate and unusable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the HSE.
Deputy Nolan made her comments after it was reported that at least one Nursing Home in the south of the country reported that it had received a delivery of 200 disposable aprons which were deemed inappropriate for the care of Covid-19 residents:
“We all accept that there is enormous pressure on the HSE with respect to accessing sufficient amounts of PPE and that this has been compounded by the design flaws that were present in the deliveries that initially came from China.
“But that does not adequately explain how our nursing homes are being sent equally inappropriate and unusable types of disposable PPE,” she said.
“If we could identify the design flaws in the PPE that came from China then it should have been possible to identify deficits in the material that was being sent to our nursing homes.
“Again, I absolutely accept that the work of the HSE and the National Public Health Emergency Team has been tireless and selfless.
“But what I do not want is for nursing homes, who are preparing and who are actively engaging with patient management, to face additional delays in accessing PPE gear because of their belief that the HSE was sending supplies,” Deputy Nolan said.