October 22, 2020
Minimal staff sourced to deal with Galway care home Covid outbreak – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Roscommon-Galway, Claire Kerrane, has said it is shocking and inexcusable that minimal staff have been sourced to deal with a Covid-19 outbreak in a Galway care home.
Teachta Kerrane has called for healthcare assistants identified during the Be On Call for Ireland initiative to be recruited as a matter of priority.
Teachta Kerrane said: “I am deeply troubled by severe staff shortages at a Galway care home following a Covid-19 outbreak.
“I have spoken with the HSE and they have confirmed to me that the outbreak was notified to Public Health in the Galway care home on Sunday 18th October and the HSE have been trying to source additional staff since then.
“They told me that in addition to the nurses self-isolating after receiving positive tests, 8 out of 12 care assistants have also tested positive. This is extremely concerning and my thoughts are with all of the staff, residents and their families at this difficult time.
“It is extremely concerning that the home has been trying to seek additional staff cover for days now.
“Staffing shortages, especially of this scale, are indefensible and the HSE must act to address this. I am alarmed that this may leave residents with an unsafe level of support, as well as putting huge pressure on the two staff members who remain in work.
“217 healthcare assistants were identified during the Be On Call For Ireland initiative and remain available but have not been recruited. We must begin the urgent recruitment of these staff to ensure we can protect all our care homes from such shortages.
“It’s clear that additional staff must be sourced immediately as a matter of urgent priority. The HSE have informed me that two care assistants have been sourced to work night shifts but this will only be until Sunday. One nurse has been sourced for night shifts.
“I am concerned that this is nowhere near what is needed and that the home will continue to be severely under-staffed.
“Such staff shortages are completely inexcusable and potentially dangerous. It is shocking that the HSE has been unable to source more staff.
“I will remain in contact with the HSE to do everything I can to ensure further staff are put in place urgently.
“Our older citizens cannot be abandoned in this pandemic and they are entitled to safe care and adequate support as an absolute minimum. The state has a duty to protect everyone in care homes and must prioritise their safety.”

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