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HCCI calls for proactive testing for elderly and vulnerable to keep low rate of infection in home care

Wednesday 13th May: Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) is calling on the Government to implement a proactive testing regime for home care clients to ensure that home remains the safest place during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As of Sunday 10th May, a total of 73 of HCCI’s 20,000 home care clients have tested positive for COVID-19.  This is an increase of 35% since last week, highlighting the urgency of a testing plan for home care clients.

Joseph Musgrave, CEO, HCCI said:

Home is so far proving the safest place for people to be – however, we cannot be complacent.  We know that the virus presents in atypical ways among the elderly and vulnerable, therefore we cannot wait for the usual symptoms before testing.  The roll out of a proactive testing regime for home care clients is crucial to keep the rate of infection among vulnerable home care clients as low as possible and to secure the last frontier of the pandemic.  As the lock down eases and people begin to move about more freely it is vital that we have a testing programme for home care in place to ensure we protect those who need it most.  HCCI members, many of whom employ qualified nurses in their organisations, could potentially support the roll out of a testing programme.  We are ready and willing to work with the Minister and the HSE to make this happen.

Musgrave continued:

COVID-19 has changed the paradigm for how we care for vulnerable people.  Legislation for a statutory home care scheme is due to be delivered by the Government in 2021, an important element in offering individuals and families a real choice about their care.  In light of COVID-19, and that our homes are the safest place to be, the statutory home care scheme is more urgent than ever and work needs to continue to empower vulnerable people to make choices about their care.

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