Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Health and the HSE to urgently address the continued lack of PPE within Nursing Homes and the Community Care sector.
While acknowledging the huge difficulties in procuring PPE nationwide, Deputy McGrath has expressed his huge concerns about the delays in rolling out PPE to all Nursing Homes and Community Care Workers.
“Despite public utterings from the Government that Nursing Homes are being prioritised and provided with PPE the situation on the ground seems to be hugely different.” Said Deputy McGrath
“I have been contacted by a number of nursing home owners who are still waiting on PPE and despite making daily official requests to the HSE they are being informed that PPE will only be provided to a nursing home in the event of an outbreak in that facility.
This seems utterly irresponsible that we would wait until there is an outbreak to provide the necessary equipment designed specifically to prevent an outbreak.
The same situation applies to home care and community workers and home helps who have been left utterly abandoned.
We know that our elderly are the most vulnerable in terms of Covid 19 and yet we continue to ignore the pleas of those caring for our elderly both in the community and nursing homes
Deputy McGrath expressed concern that the actions of the HSE on the ground is at odds with what the Minister for Health is saying publicly.
“The Minister for Health is making all the right comments in relation to our nursing home crisis but unfortunately what's happening on the ground is not matching up.
I have written to the HSE to query their policy of not providing PPE until there is an outbreak and I will continue to raise this with Minister for Health to ensure that what is being said is actually being delivered on the ground to ensure that our elderly are protected.
Unfortunately, we have failed this sector thus far and we need to urgently address this matter. We cannot continue to ignore the needs of these carers and nursing homes who are trying to prevent outbreaks or spread of Covid 19 amongst our elderly community.” Concluded Deputy McGrath