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Sage Advocacy calls for the integration of private nursing homes into the wider public health and social care framework post Covid-19 May 25, 2020

Warns care in nursing homes is built on an overly complex and dangerous architecture


Dublin, 25 May 2020

Sage Advocacy will tell the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 on Tuesday, 26, May, that there was “no clear framework for the provision of medical care for the most vulnerable of older people” in Ireland before the pandemic.

The registered charity, which supports vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients, will also outline that there were “no ratios set for the level of suitably skilled nursing staff” in relation to the care of older people, when it gives evidence to the Oireachtas Special Committee.

In a statement to the committee Sage Advocacy Executive Director, will say: “The Covid-19 public health emergency has shown some of the great strengths of Irish society but it has also shown weaknesses. Over recent decades the state’s approach to residential care of older adults has been one of retreat in favour of private providers, with the remaining public facilities providing care mainly to the more frail, with complex care needs; sometimes in famine era buildings.

“The state, having outsourced the service, practiced ‘sectoral distancing’ while the public, notwithstanding the excellent service provided by many facilities, is increasingly questioning the morality of private investment in human vulnerability.”

Sage Advocacy has made a hard-hitting submission to the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 which extensively details the “fragmented nature of social care for older people” throughout Ireland.

In its submission to the Oireachtas Special Committee Sage Advocacy will share some of the early feedback it has received about the impact of Covid-19 on residents, staff and relatives in relation to nursing homes.

In one instance a member of staff in a nursing home, which experienced a serious outbreak and many deaths, told Sage Advocacy: “You have no idea how awful it is – it’s horrific”. While another said: “the cavalry never came in time.”

Mr Taylor said: “We have also put forward eight recommendations in our submission which we believe could address some of the most important issues now facing an ageing Ireland post Covid-19. These include developing an integrated system of long-term support and care spanning all care situations with a single source of funding and the integration of private nursing homes into the wider framework of public health and social care.”

“We have a two-tier healthcare system and a two-tier siloed approach to the long-term support and care of older people which is biased towards congregated settings. Let’s shed a tier and set about building Sláintecare; a single tier national health service with an integrated system of social care focused on home and a much wider range of options between home and nursing home.”


Mervyn Taylor, Executive Director, Sage Advocacy, is available for comment or interview.

Further information please contact Francess McDonnell: 087 1738762


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