Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly at the publication launch of the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report.
The COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report has been published.
As of July 14, 79% of all notified deaths from COVID-19 occurred in the over 75 age group and deaths in nursing homes (985 cases) represented 56% of total deaths (1,748 cases) in Ireland.
From the report:
‘The COVID-19 public health emergency has shown some of the many strengths of Irish society. It has also shown some weaknesses.
We have a two-tier healthcare system and a two-tier siloed approach to the long-term support and care of older people which favours referral to long-term care settings as opposed to promoting a wider range of home care options. We owe it to our older population and ourselves to do better.’
During the crisis, leadership and timely decision-making became overwhelmed due to a vacuum of clear guidance, mixed messaging, a lack of access to clinical expertise and resources (oxygen, infusion pumps, PPE).
A submission from academic nursing who took part in the ‘call to arms’ felt that for the vast majority of nursing homes there was no direct clinical governance; GPs’ mainly focused on managing their individual patients either in person or virtually. COVID-19 very quickly exhausted existing governance and escalation pathways.
More as we read it.
Previously: Left To Die: Nursing Home Timeline