NHI statement re hospital bed crisis & nursing home bed availability


Nursing Homes Ireland today, 19th January, disputed claims that non-availability or non-accessibility of nursing home beds are responsible for a hospital bed crisis.


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO stated: “A snapshot survey we undertook this month informed of bed availability in 176 nursing homes being 742 beds. Considering there are 430 private and voluntary nursing homes with a spread across the country, the reality of bed availability is likely double that informed of within the survey.


“It is disingenuous to attribute the overcrowding in hospitals with nursing homes. Nursing home care is fulfilling a lead role in supporting persons to be discharged from hospital care back into the community for transitional or long-term care. On a monthly basis 668 persons are being enabled by the HSE to avail of transitional care within nursing homes and a further 250 persons are discharged to private nursing home care under the Fair Deal scheme.


“Despite there being hundreds of beds available within nursing homes on an ongoing basis, the A & E taskforce refuses to engage with private and voluntary nursing homes with view to alleviating the perennial crises of overcrowding within our acute hospitals. We engage with the HSE on an ongoing basis to inform of bed availability within nursing homes in counties across Ireland and inform of the acute hospitals the particular nursing homes accept residents from. The HSE has acknowledged the lead role fulfilled by nursing homes in reducing the numbers classified as delayed discharged within our hospitals.


“Despite circa 80% of nursing home bed capacity being provided by private and voluntary providers, approximately 22,000 beds, the co-chair of the taskforce Liam Doran has advocated the closure of these beds. This is despite independent research informing private nursing homes are leading in the provision of specialist dementia care and public nursing homes are more restrictive in admitting high dependency persons*.  The Task Force should not be ideological or agenda-driven about health services.”


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, is available for further comment. Contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications and Research Executive at 01 4699806 or 087 9082970.    


*Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, February 2015, An Irish National Survey of Dementia in Long Term Residential Care


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