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​INMO to seek urgent meeting with Minister for Health following publication of COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel
press release 19.08.2020


The INMO seeks immediate dialogue with the Minister for Health on many of the recommendations in the report, particularly the implementation of the safe staffing framework.


The INMO had set out in its submission to this committee and on many previous occasions, to the Department of Health and the HSE, that staff shortages are a major risk in nursing homes and other healthcare settings and  could lead to higher rates of COVID-19 infection in staff and patients.


INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said:


“Staffing audits are welcome, but the truth is we already know there are staffing shortages and that this is worsened when staff are sick or self-isolating.  We also know surges lead to high levels of fatigue, which is a major risk in infection control that puts staff and patients at risk.


“In order to keep patients safe we must keep staff safe. We welcome the recommendation on routine testing for all staff and we have also requested that this process is in place in all healthcare settings, not just in nursing homes. 


“We again call on government this evening, to confirm that they will amend the health and safety regulations and provide a statutory basis to the Health and Safety Authority to protect nurses and midwives and other frontline workers who acquire this infection in their workplaces”.   



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