March 31, 2020
Hazzard calls on Department of Health to address concerns over residential homes

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has called on the Department for Health to urgently address growing fears within the residential and nursing home sector that they are being cut adrift as the healthcare system responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The South Down MP said: 

“I’ve spoken with a number of care homes in recent days who are seriously worried that a dangerous lack of PPE has exacerbated the decision to withdraw GP and district nursing services, leaving this sector feeling increasingly vulnerable and isolated. 

“Not only do we need to ensure appropriate PPE is made available to this sector, but a rapid response pathway must be agreed urgently with local health trusts to help meet the needs of our loved ones who are being cared for in these settings. 

“It seems illogical that the Department of Health would expect support workers with no previous in-depth nursing skills to step into the gap and pick up delegated nursing duties, including the verification of expected deaths.”

“Sinn Féin are raising these concerns with the Health Minister Robin Swann today.

“In our endeavours to do all that we can for frontline NHS staff in our hospitals we must not forget the huge variety of care homes and the frontline domiciliary care workers who provide a vital service at the coalface in the community.”

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