July 5, 2021
Late commitments to investigate nursing home neglect insufficient; full public inquiry needed – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called for a full public inquiry into nursing home neglect, abuse and deaths during the pandemic.

Teachta Cullinane said that commitments to an investigation were late in the day and insufficient given the mountain of evidence from concerned families and advocates.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“While any investigation into abuse, neglect and deaths in nursing homes during the pandemic is welcome, it is clear that a full public inquiry is needed.

“Commitments to an investigation are late in the day and insufficient given the mountain of evidence from concerned families and advocates.

“The problem remains that no statutory authority can currently investigate individual complaints in the manner necessary to halt abuse and neglect.

“Current visitation guidance is unenforceable with consequences for isolated residents.

“There needs to be a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic in nursing homes for transparency and accountability.

“Government must accelerate adult safeguarding legislation, empower HIQA with compliance notices, and ensure powers of entry and investigation for social workers to handle complaints or suspicions of neglect and abuse.

“What remains is for government to agree to a public inquiry, and we will support such a proposal in the Oireachtas.”

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