98 of 204 Nursing Homes inspected by Health Ministry deemed satisfactory

June 05, 2020
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr.Christopher Tufton, addressing the weekly virtual ‘COVID Conversations’ briefing on Thursday (June 4), at the Ministry's office in New Kingston.​

A total of 204 nursing homes islandwide have been inspected to date, with 98 deemed satisfactory in meeting the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ COVID-19 prevention guidelines and protocols.

This was disclosed by Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, during his weekly virtual ‘COVID Conversations’ briefing on Thursday at the Ministry's office in Kingston.

Minister Tufton said that the 106 homes that were found to be unsatisfactory, have been given up to a month to correct the breaches that were found.

The inspection included 17 unregistered nursing homes.

Dr. Tufton highlighted the importance of ensuring that the homes meet the Ministry’s health standards.

"If you look anywhere in the world where the virus touches down in a nursing home or an infirmary, we normally have or see deaths resulting because of the weaknesses within the residents immune system. So it's very important for us that we manage that process," he said.

Dr. Tufton noted that while the inspections include ensuring that the facilities are registered, the primary focus is “getting them to put in place infection prevention and control mechanisms to minimise the risk of COVID coming into those facilities. That is the current challenge that we face, that we're trying to avoid.”

Some of the breaches detected during the inspection were inadequacy in the training of personnel with regard to cleaning and sanitisation procedures, inadequate hand hygiene facilities, no isolation area, no provision in place for social distancing, and a lack of running water in parts of the building.

Others include non-adherence of staff to the personal protective equipment (PPE) requirement, including the wearing of masks; the use of inappropriate cleaning and sanitation chemicals; inadequate provisions for additional potable water; and the lack of temperature checks for staff.

The Minister has appealed to operators and managers of nursing homes, to ensure that those issues are immediately addressed, and for patients and their family members to insist that the breaches be fixed.

"The team will continue to inspect. We have given reports to each facility indicating where there are challenges, made recommendations for overcoming those challenges and given them dates when inspections will take place. We will continue to do so in the weeks and in the months ahead," Dr. Tufton added.

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