There was a surge in the number of patients transferred from hospitals to nursing homes in March and April last year, Minister for State Hildegarde Naughton has confirmed in the Dáil. Care home patients account for nearly half of all Covid-related deaths in Ireland. Many were transferred without a Covid test and may have spread the disease in the homes.
She was responding to a statement on the matter from Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD who revealed the contents of documents released to him after a freedom of information request.
Among them was an email from the National Treatment Purchase Fund which was issued to nursing homes on the 12th March 2020. It says: “the NPTF have been asked to establish capacity within the nursing home sector”, and, “nursing homes will need to have the ability to care for patients coming from the acute hospital setting” and “facilities must be able to facilitate short term residents being discharged from the acute hospital”.
Deputy Toibin described it as a “damning document” and a “smoking gun”.