The Health Information Equality Authority (HIQA) is charged with the regulation of Nursing Homes in Ireland and to ensure that Nursing Homes provide safe and effective care for their residents. With mounting criticism of the levels of deaths throughout Irish Nursing Homes from Covid-19 has HIQA failed in its statutory duty to ensure that Nursing Homes had good infection prevention and control practices to protect their residents?
COVID-19 is a virus that is particularly lethal to the elderly with underlying conditions and HIQA’s own National Standards state that “infection prevention and control practices should achieve the best outcomes for residents”. Was there a uniform approach being adopted by HIQA and Nursing Homes in Ireland to ensure that they had sufficient PPE, ventilators and infection control barriers in place to fight the virus.”
It seems that a vital opportunity was lost to mitigate the number of fatalities suffered in Nursing Homes as a result of COVID-19. HIQA’s standards promised to ensure that the quality of care provided to Nursing Home residents was high, no matter who was running the service. They clearly have a case to answer, along with many nursing homeowners, as to what actions they took and when to give nursing home residents the best possible chance of avoiding infection from Covid-19.