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HIQA report on Dealgan House expected to be completed next month

HIQA report on Dealgan House expected to be completed next month
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The HIQA report into Dealgan Nursing Home is to be completed by inspectors in the next three weeks, it has been revealed.

It is understood that a number of families, whose loved ones died in Dealgan House during the Covid-19 outbreak in April and May, were contacted by HIQA last week and informed that the report is nearing completion.

Last month, inspectors from the health watchdog carried out an inspection at the Toberona nursing home after 22 people were reported to have died from Covid-19 there.

The draft report will be sent to Dealgan House management by HIQA for comment and reply ahead of its finalised publication.

The final report will also be sent to Health Minister Simon Harris, after the issue was raised in Leinster House by local TD Ruairí Ó Murchú.

It is estimated that it will be made public in the next few months, perhaps before the end of the summer.

The families who made contact with HIQA in May were spoken to by inspectors and their testimonies were noted by them.

It is also understood that HIQA will contact the families they spoke to about the report and will write to them individually about the specific concerns and worries they raised.

In addition, it is believed this is the first report of its kind by HIQA where inspectors took into account testimony from relatives about prior issues at a nursing home.

Deputy Ó Murchú, who questioned HIQA and HSE representatives at the Dáil’s special Covid-19 committee about Dealgan House, said he welcomed the progress made by HIQA, but he believed there were families who still had not come forward to talk to inspectors about their loved ones’ deaths.

He said: “I welcome the good news that HIQA will be sending the report to Dealgan House for comment and it will be published in the coming weeks. It is progress for families who have told me they were happy with the way HIQA listened to their stories.

“Minister Harris has previously stated that he will read the HIQA report about Dealgan House before deciding the next step, but it remains the families’ firm view that an inquiry is needed into what happened here.

“In addition, I would urge any family whose loved one was affected by Covid-19 in Dealgan House to get in contact with HIQA as soon as possible in order to have their testimony considered.

“I have been informed by HIQA this week that they are still happy to receive testimony from families and HIQA can be contacted on email at concerns@hiqa.ie and at 021 2409646.”

The Sinn Féin TD added that he has recently written to HIQA to ask them to ensure that the testimony of the Dundalk families is ‘warehoused’ and preserved so that it can be used in any future inquiry.