NHI welcomes €10m increase for Fair Deal 2015



Resourcing of scheme critical consideration for older person health services


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO stated: “Today’s commitment in the HSE Service Plan to increase the 2015 Fair Deal budget by €10m is a step in the right direction. Such funding will mean an additional 300 places next year.  It is some acknowledgement of the requirement to ensure the scheme is appropriately resourced so people assessed as requiring nursing home care can access it in a timely manner. We now have 2,000 people assessed as requiring nursing home care but awaiting Fair Deal payment so it is critical the scheme is appropriately resourced in 2015 so people requiring the specialist care provided by nursing homes can access it in a timely manner. Given the recent distress that has been caused for older persons and their families awaiting Fair Deal financial approval, this anxiety has to be addressed early next year as the lists will only build up again based on the requirements of our older population for nursing home care.


“Investment in Fair Deal is of key importance, as illustrated by the crisis caused in recent weeks within health service because of the under-resourcing of the scheme. This has been evident in the significant increase this year in numbers of persons delayed discharged in our hospitals, with 75% of such persons awaiting long-term nursing home care. Nursing homes are critical to healthcare delivery in our communities. Timely access to such care improves health service delivery and brings benefits to wider society. In recent weeks Ministers Varadkar and Lynch have outlined the extraordinary delays that have arisen because the scheme is resource capped. NHI’s concerns remain there is potential for similar delays in 2015.  


“The Service Plan reiterates requirement to improve older persons access to primary and community services. The dedicated healthcare settings that are private and voluntary nursing homes have a critical role to play in providing transitional, respite, intermediate and rehabilitative care. We look forward to further engagement with Department of Health and HSE in respect of the potential of our sector to ensure the availability of appropriate and specialist health and social care for persons within their local communities.    


“With our population aged 85+ rapidly ageing, we reiterate requirement for Department of Health to bring stakeholders together through a long-term care forum to ensure we plan properly and appropriately for the health and social care requirements of older people. Such engagement can feed into our overarching health policy and service planning for years ahead.”



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


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