At least one Kerry TD is urging the HSE to provide a new community nursing home in North Kerry, to answer demand in the wake of the Oaklands Nursing Home closure.
Over 20 residents of the home are being moved from the premises before it closes in the near future, after the HSE, appointed to run the centre by court order, moved to close it down fully.
The court order was sought by HIQA following the COVID outbreak in late October, after which eight infected residents died.
HSE chiefs briefed Kerry Oireachtas TDs on the fallout of the outbreak on Thursday.
Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly is now calling on the HSE to establish a new public nursing home in the community.
He also lauded the ‘commitment’ of HSE staff, including nurses, who took over the centre three weeks ago after HIQA had described the then privately-run home as having been ‘chaotic’ on an inspection on November 4.
HIQA inspectors witnessed non-COVID residents mixing with residents who were confirmed to have COVID, Listowel District Court heard.
Deputy Daly thanked HSE staff for their response this week: “I attended a briefing by the HSE on Thursday, to which all Kerry TDs were invited, on the situation at Oaklands Nursing Home.
“First and foremost, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to HSE staff who went into Oaklands Nursing Home to care for the residents when they were called upon.
“One nurse provided psychiatric nursing care which was invaluable, and many others had no experience in a nursing-home setting previously, but put themselves forth to help with the crisis in Oaklands anyway,” he said, adding: “This is a testament to the commitment our nurses have to the community: whether they serve in public health, hospitals or nursing homes, the care of the patient is always foremost.
“Secondly, it is clear that there is massive demand for HSE-run nursing homes in the county, and especially in North Kerry.
“I am now calling on the HSE to commit to provide a new community nursing home in North Kerry.”