Nursing Homes Representatives Highlight Serious & Significant Challenges To TDs And Senators


Wednesday, June 18, 2014: Representatives of Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) from all across the country have today met with TDs and Senators at an Oireachtas Open Day to highlight the serious and significant challenges facing the sector in care provision, it has been revealed.


In an event that was part of Nursing Homes Week 2014, the meeting featured discussion on the growing crisis relating to providing long-term residential care for Ireland’s ageing population.


Regional representatives from the sector explained to TDs and Senators the actions needed by Government to support delivery of health and social care in keeping with considerable growth in requirement for an older population that is increasing at a significantly rapid rate.


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, said: “We once again call for a Department of Health led ‘Forum on Long-Term Residential Care’ to plan the ongoing and future residential care requirements of our ageing population. It is imperative we plan now to meet ongoing and significant challenges and issues that are arising. A key aspect of today’s event has been to explain to TDs and Senators the severe implications of reducing the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal) annual budget by €107 million since 2012.  Despite HSE warnings of a significant national deficit in nursing home beds by 2016 and under supply in urban centres, the resourcing to support people requiring nursing home care is illogically being cut.”


“At the end of March 2014, 650 fewer people were Fair Deal approved relative to the start of the year and the majority of those clinically fit for discharge from acute hospitals were awaiting nursing home care. Persons awaiting the support of the Fair Deal scheme are facing waiting times as long as 10 weeks,” said Daly.


“Moreover, as a result of its near monopoly position, the State, through the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) exerts significant control and influence over the rates currently paid for residential care in the private and voluntary sector. The reality is the State wishes to purchase care from the private and voluntary sector for an average fee that is up to 50% below that provided to public nursing homes. It is placing significant and undue pressure upon private and voluntary nursing homes providing care to over 21,000 people in our local communities. Nursing home care is of critical importance to health and social care provision for Irish society. It is of critical importance policy stakeholders engage with our sector to ensure appropriate framework is in place to support care provision. The appropriate support framework will ensure persons fit for discharge from acute hospitals can access the care appropriate for their requirements and alleviate pressures in such settings,” added Daly.


The Oireachtas Open Day took place as part of Nursing Homes Week 2014, the national celebration of the positivity of nursing home life. Read more about Nursing Homes Week 2014 at




Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO is available for further interview. For further information you can contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Officer, at 087 9082970 or (01) 4292570. 


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