Motion: Care Homes

Council - 22nd October 2020

"That this council notes with concern the growing list of revelations around handling of Covid outbreaks in our social care provision for older persons by the Department of Health.  In particular the fact that:

  • the regulatory body, the RQIA, was instructed to cut back on inspections of care home facilities during the Covid pandemic;
  • the Permanent Secretary promoted a policy of transfer of Covid-suspect elderly patients from hospitals to care homes;
  • the extended delay and failure to provide PPE for frontline workers in private care homes, even after Covid-suspect patients were trasnferred to them;
  • the continued refusal, unique to Northern Ireland, to not accord deaths by Covid-19 notifiable status to the Coroner's office;
  • the resignation of the entire RQIA board over the Department's handling of the Covid crisis in our care homes;
  • the laggard and obturate response of Health Departmental officials to inquiries from relatives, campaigners, and journalists.
  • the fact that 83 percent of all fatalities associated with Covid-19 have occurred in care home settings.

Therefore Fermanagh and Omagh District Council resolves to demand a full independent public inquiry into the handling of the spread of Covid-19 in care homes and call for those responsible for failures to protect our most vulnerable to be fully held to account for their actions and inactions."

Proposed by: Councillor O'Cofaigh, Seconded by Councillor Deehan, Supported by Councillors McAleer, Swift and Keenan