Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (880)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

880. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if the cost to the State has been recouped for the supply of PPE to nursing homes particularly since the commencement of the temporary assistance payment scheme of €72.5 million to support nursing homes since the commencement of the Covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38508/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Temporary Assistance Payments scheme for nursing homes, also known as TAPS, provides financial assistance to private and voluntary nursing homes to support their preparedness in relation to COVID-19 and to manage outbreaks, if and when they present.

TAPS was approved and sanction of up to €72.5m was provided on the 3rd April 2020. The intention to establish the scheme was announced on 4th April and the scheme first opened for applications on 17th April. The scheme underwent a detailed review in June 2020, following which it was agreed to extend the scheme for a further 3 months to the end of September 2020. On the 29th of September the scheme was further extended until the end of June 2021. On the 5th of November a further €42m funding for the scheme was announced. The Government has made €134.5m available under TAPS.

Whilst PPE was an eligible cost in the original scheme given the challenges in securing PPE across the sector, PPE was removed from the TAPS as an eligible cost as part of the scheme review. This was on foot of the HSE making a commitment to continue to provide PPE to private and voluntary nursing homes, in line with public health guidance, at no cost to the nursing homes.