Living with vulnerable people and facilitating rosters appear to be the most common reasons for healthcare workers seeking temporary accommodation, according to the HSE.
“Staff have availed of the temporary accommodation service for all eligibility reasons noted within the national guidance document. However, ‘living with vulnerable persons’ or ‘to facilitate rosters’ appear to be popular choices at this stage,” a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent.
Uptake in temporary staff accommodation has varied from week-to-week. Approximately 2,078 beds were availed of in the system from 23-29 April, while approximately 1,437 and 1,337 beds were availed of in the system from 30 April-7 May and 8-14 May, respectively.
“Staff are being assessed and approved for temporary accommodation at local level, with the majority of staff being approved for temporary accommodation. Reasons for refusals are yet to be analysed at a national level,” outlined the spokesperson.
“Temporary accommodation stays are approved in line with protocol, but can vary from anywhere between one-to-14 nights.”
The vast majority of healthcare workers are from private nursing homes and voluntary sectors, followed by South/South West Hospital Group and Dublin Midlands Hospital Group.
The accommodation used is predominately based in hotels and guesthouses.
There are over 80 facilities across the country with approximately 6,300 beds available, according to the HSE.
Information on the cost to the Executive “is not currently available”.
Other eligibility criteria in the guidance document include healthcare workers whose family members are self-isolating and who are therefore not able to return home; healthcare workers who reside in congregated domestic living arrangements, ie, hostels, direct provision centres, etc; and healthcare workers who require emergency accommodation due to urgent response or mitigating factors.
The temporary accommodation service is not available for healthcare workers who need to self-isolate, including healthcare workers returning to work from abroad who are required to self-isolate.