THE MINISTER for Heath, Simon Harris, has unveiled a significant support package for private nursing homes.
The rollout of the €72 million package comes at a time when clusters of Covid-19 have been reported in 40 nursing homes across the country.
New measures include the twice-daily screening of the nursing home staff, priority testing and financial support for affected homes.
A Covid-19 manager will be appointed in facilities, while the HSE is to provide access to personal protective equipment (PPE).
A cluster is where more than two people have contracted the Covid-19 virus inside the same 72-hour period.
The new scheme means that operators will be paid an extra €800 per month for evert resident in their care who is on the Fair Deal scheme up to the first 40. They will receive €400 per month for the next 40 patients and €200 for any more.
The homes will be able to claim extra expenses up to €75,000 for expenditure incurred from introducing preventative measures. A case will need to be made and assessed by the Department of Health for this funding to be allocated.
A number of conditions will be implemented, including a clampdown on agency staff moving between nursing homes.
Staff will now have their temperature checked during the twice-daily screenings.
Minister Harris said: “The nursing home sector cares for one of the most precious, and vulnerable groups in our society. We must do everything we can to support them to help break the transmission of the virus.
“To this end we are extending supports to this sector so that they can continue their role in the overall public health response to COVID-19. Our goal, in these challenging times, is to protect our older people, wherever they are living.
“We must also support staff working in nursing homes, and ensure their safety and health as we continue to deal with this pandemic.
“It is vital we leave nobody behind as we navigate our way out of this pandemic.”Tags: