News Ireland HIQA inspection uncovers six Covid-19 deaths at Kerry nursing...

HIQA inspection uncovers six Covid-19 deaths at Kerry nursing home

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Six residents of a Kerry nursing home have died after an outbreak of Covid-19.

Oaklands nursing home in Listowel, Co Kerry was subject to an unannounced Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) inspection on June 18th this summer.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the inspection found failings in six out of 18 areas of Covid-19 compliance and reported that the nursing home had inadequate infection control measures and practices in place with mask-wearing, hand sanitising and infection inspection of significant concern.

The report found the nursing home had not made provision for social distancing when residents were dining.

Dinner tables were set up with seven residents eating together in breach of Covid-19 compliance.

Speaking to Kerry Today with Jerry O’Sullivan on Radio Kerry, Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly said there are questions about how HIQA escalates issues arising from nursing homes.

When outbreaks occur in care homes, Mr Daly said the authority needs to be able to react much quicker to address them.

National standards

“They need to be able to move in much faster, a six or really a 12-week period isn’t good enough.

“It is literally a question of life or death for the residents,” he said.

“When there is an outbreak in the locality as there was in north Kerry it is kind of inevitable that there will be something coming but it needs to be managed properly,” said Mr Daly.

They need to be able to move much faster, the regulations need to be amended.

Mr Daly said that the precarious nature of care work and the high turnover of staff does not help the situation when tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

He also said the national standards in residential care settings for older people due to come in 2021 need to be reassessed in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The operators of Oaklands nursing home have not responded to date about the reports findings.

In the report, HIQA said that management at Oaklands Nursing Home had told them measures had been taken to ensure social distancing for residents when dining together since the appointment of a new Operations Manager on July 2nd, a month after the unannounced inspection.

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