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Progress? One Year Since Recommendations of the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel

Published 18/08/2021


Key recommendations of the Expert Panel Report on Covid-19 and nursing homes, in relation to staffing, have not yet been fully implemented across all nursing homes. With an increasing concern about the level of COVID-19 positive cases circulating in workplaces and the community we are concerned about the potential impact on the safety and rights of people living in nursing homes.

A number of recommendations by the Panel focused on staffing in terms of preparedness and contingency planning.

32% of nursing homes who participated in a HIQA survey still do not have clear written back-up (contingency) plans to maintain a safe service when staff cannot work or fail to turn up for work according to the second progress report of the Implementation Oversight Group (IOT) of the Covid-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel report; this is recommendation 5.2 of the Report which was to come into operation immediately.

The report suggested that staff employed by such homes be precluded from working across multiple sites for the duration of the pandemic. It also said adequate single-site employment contracts should be put in place to support the measure.

13.5% of non-HSE nursing home respondents had not implemented single site employment arrangements for nursing and healthcare assistants according to the second progress report of the IOT.

Since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, safe staffing levels and skills-mix was a key concern in nursing homes. The Expert Panel Report on Covid-19 and nursing homes report published in August 2020 made 86 recommendations to safeguard residents in nursing homes ‘over the following 12-18 months’ and ‘into the longer term’. The area where least progress has been made, according to the IOT report, is in the area of maintaining safe staffing levels.  Greater attention from the Minister of Health, and the Government as a whole needs, to be paid to protect the equality and rights of people living in nursing homes who experienced a disproportionate negative impact of both the disease and response measures.


Age Action Ireland to benefit from Gas Networks Ireland Survey

Age Action is to benefit from a Gas Networks Ireland initiative. Customers will recieve a txt message from Gas Networks in relation to recent gas meter installations requesting feedback on their experience. Every feedback received will see a €2 donation made to Age Action. There is no obligation to participate.


How It Works

If you've had your gas meter recently replaced by Gas Networks Ireland, you may receive a message from Marie Lyster, their Customer Experience Manager. This message is an invitation to share your feedback, but please remember, your participation is entirely voluntary. Here's what the message will look like:

Message from Gas Networks Ireland:

“You recently had your gas meter replaced by us. Please take a minute to tell us how you got on by clicking on the link below. Your feedback is important to us, helping us to improve our services. There is no obligation to participate, but should you choose to do so, on receipt of your response, we will donate €2 to Age Action Ireland.

Many thanks, Marie Lyster, Customer Experience Manager"


By providing feedback – only if you choose to – you'll be supporting Age Action Ireland. For every piece of feedback received, Gas Networks Ireland will donate €2 to our organisation. This contribution can support our efforts to improve the lives of older people in Ireland.

For more information about our work and other ways to get involved with Age Action, please click here