A group set up late last year and led by concerned, volunteer citizens from around Ireland, has pledged to campaign for systemic change in the care and quality of life of older people.
The Nursing Home Quality Initiative (NHQI) is calling for volunteers to join and become actively involved. All NHQI members either currently have or have had loved ones in nursing home care. The group is committed to monitoring compliance and enforcement of nursing home regulations and standards as well as best practices in Ireland and other jurisdictions.
The NHQI has issued a rallying call for nursing home residents and relatives. The group has expressed anger and saddness but not surprised at the scenes that unfolded recently on RTE’s Prime Time.
In our experience, many of these issues have been endemic for years – COVID-19 has just exposed the existing cracks and revealed the many practices that are lacking in dignity and disrespectful of human rights.
We believe that a fundamental issue is the lack of an independent and transparent complaints process. We support the calls by HIQA for fundamental reform and call on the Minister and the Oireachtas to respond as a matter of urgency.
While it is some comfort that the Ombudsman has, in more recent times, been part of the complaints process, many of the more pressing problems in nursing homes are outside of the scope of his Office. If there is a dedicated Ombudsman for Children, why not for older people, particularly now?
This is a rallying cry for residents of nursing homes and their relatives to join forces with us in campaigning for change. If you have some time to spare, please come join us and volunteer your services.
If time is scarce, you can still help spread the word. We can be contacted by phone at 021 482 4351 or on email at email@example.com. Learn more by visiting our website at www.nhqi.ie. Keep in touch by following us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/nhqi1